“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.” (Romans 15:5-7)
Are you familiar with the American national anthem? It may go something like this: “Oh, say can you see, what’s in it for me?” That’s it for many people. We are concerned about ourselves, our own rights. So many of us live with US in mind.
I read about a little boy sitting on the front steps with his face cradled in his hands, looking very upset. His father came home and asks what’s wrong. He said, “Well, just between us, Dad, I’m having trouble getting along with that wife of yours.” Why do Christians so easily and so quickly get out of sorts with one another? Listen, I’ve got some good news and some bad news today. The good news is that everyone who has received Jesus Christ is going to heaven. The bad news is that we’re traveling there together.
Go back and read Paul’s prayer for the Christians in Rome (Romans 15:5-7). What’s on Paul’s mind as he prays for the Romans is “the glory of God.” Paul is saying, “Be concerned about God’s glory.” And God is glorified when we are of one mind and one heart.
This does not mean that Christians will agree on every single issue. My goodness, even Christian married couples do not agree on all issues. How do we make it work? We deny ourselves for the sake of our spouse. Why? Because that’s the way Christ has welcomed us!
Can you imagine the effect on a local church if all members covenanted together to live our lives to bring glory to God. Can you imagine if the number one concern of every member of every local church was to do all for God’s glory? Now that would be revival. That would be transformational. So Paul says, “Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you.” Now let’s get to work!