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TEXT: Romans 15:7 “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.”

Sometimes people don’t make it easy to accept them. They can be bad tempered, selfish, critical, irritating, dismissive, aggressive and pompous. Sometimes you want to give them a piece of your mind; give them what they deserve-—anything but acceptance. The command, ‘accept one another’, is inconvenient, but if Paul had stopped there we might dodge the directive by saying he obviously meant good, reasonable, acceptable people, but, he says, ‘just as Christ accepted you’. Were we good, reasonable and acceptable? No, but He accepted us—flaws and all—and He still does! ‘Somebody has to straighten these people out and require them to act right!’ You mean like Jesus required before He accepted you? Roman Christians had difficulty accepting their less experienced brothers, and Paul corrected them: ‘Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment…for God has accepted him’ (Roman 14.1-3 NIV). Straightening people out isn’t our department; accepting them is. God calls us to accept messed-up, unspiritual, carnal, obnoxious, doctrinally misled, ‘just plain wrong’ people. You don’t have to approve of, like, or agree with them, but accepting them isn’t optional. There’s no elite, privileged, insider class. We occupy the same level ground because of two realities: our sin and the cross! Jews and Gentiles despised each other, even after salvation. Each wanted the other to change and become like them., but Paul took the axe to the root of that tree: ‘For Christ Himself…reconciled both groups…by means of His death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death’ (Eph. 2:14-16). Our job is to accept people. This implies that we have no option than to love them because God is love and this love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5), and secondly we should endeavour to walk in love—and let God adjust them including you and I.

MEDITATION: 1 John 4:10, 2John 6

HEB.10:19-39/EX 11&12/ PROV 4

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