EST. 1985

Living for others, not ourselves

I had a thought today as I was having a quiet time with the Lord. I will give you the reference of what I was studying, explain to you what I was thinking of this text and lead you to what I think is a revelation I got.

I was reading Romans 15:1-7 and the reason I was reading this was because I was feeling weak and I felt like I needed the strong to lift me up. Which is what Paul is talking about here, in Romans 14 he is talking about the weak and some problems they may have (with food, special days etc). Then in chapter 15 he is talking about the strong bearing with the weak, this is totally contrasted/connected to chapter 14.  There are the weak in chapter 14, and Paul says in 15:1 “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” We have an OBLIGATION – wow.  Not a question. If you feel you are strong, it is not about you, you are to “bear with the failings of the weak”.

That is the amazing thing about Christianity, it is NOT about us. Probably the only religion in the world that things that way. So sorry, if you are a christian and think it is about you I would have to disagree with you, that is not what the Bible teaches.  It is NOT about us, it is about others. Christianity is a live-out religion, for others, not for ourselves.

Sorry, a little sidetracked there. So I kept reading and was struck by this idea of living in harmony in v5, and how the “God of endurance and encouragement” is going to grant that to us.  But wait, even with this, it is not about ourselves. Lets read on. v6 “THAT together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” So WHY do we live in harmony? Paul connects this with glorifying God and Jesus with ONE voice. Again, not about us.

Now, HOW can we do all this? HOW can we live in harmony and bear with the failings of the weak? Let me tell you. It is because God has done all this that we can. God first loved us, that is why we can love. Let me show you in the text here.

v2-3 – We are to please our neighbor, build him up FOR Christ did not please himself.
v4 – The Scriptures are giving us hope through “endurance and encouragement”
v5 – God is described as the God of “endurance and encouragement”
v7 – “Therefore, welcome one another AS Christ has welcomed you, FOR the glory of God”

So, we can bear with the failings of the weak, please our neighbor, live in harmony, all these things BECAUSE GOD first did this. God showed us how. We can love because God first loved us. And it is all for HIS GLORY as well. Side note, John is saying the same thing as well.   John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”

So, as I was studying this, this is what I thought to myself.

You will act like that of which you worship. 

We love, serve one another, live in unity/harmony, bear with the failings of the weak, etc. BECAUSE God first did all this. He is whom we worship, and we act like that. Well, not all the time because we do have the sin nature. But this is WHY we can love, why we can serve, etc. It is not because we are so great and amazing, but it is because GOD is so great and amazing and HE FIRST LOVED US! When we did NOT deserve it (still don’t deserve it), when we beat him and nailed him to a tree, he loved us. He gave his life for us because he loved us. And now we can love, because he first loved us.

So, tell me if I am wrong, but I think this is true. You will act like that of which you worship. If you worship sex, you will act in that belief. If you worship money, you will act on that. I think whatever you worship, that is how you are going to live your life.

So, then the question is, what do you worship? Or who do you worship?

Image Credits: Josh Rathke
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Nathan Hughes

Nathan is originally from Saskatchewan, Canada and has been involved in missions with his family since he was 13. He completed DTS in Perth, Australia and SBS here in Montana. He has been staffing SBS since 2010 and has a passion for the Word and seeing people grow in their understanding of the bible through the SBS program.

Comments

  • Jill Shimko - I am a 63 yr. old woman - and your article is truly refreshing and totally right on. thank you :)

    • Nathan Hughes - Thanks Jill! I really appreciate that. Thanks for reading it.

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