Today's VerseHonor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you.
~Romans 15:7 CEV
Thoughts on today's verse...
In re-reading this verse, then reading from verse 1 - 13, in its context I believe that it is telling us to accept those into our fellowship of believers who may not be as "mature" as we may be. And also for others to accept us even if we don't appear to be a "mature" as they are. This being written to Jew and Gentile alike.
It is also addressing the issue of diversity. The believing Jews wanted this new belief to be only for them and they didn't want to accept the Gentiles unless they were willing to perform some of the Jewish customs (for example circumcision).
The author of Romans (the Apostle Paul) is saying, "Hold on a minute, think this through with me... if Christ has accepted you, He also has accepted those who believe in Him, though of a different culture, race or former belief system."
Frankly, we seem to gravitate to those churches where the members are "like us." I've not attended many churches where the population is a diverse mixture of cultures and races. However, I have attended women's conferences with a wonderful mix of cultures and races and loved the diverse styles of worship! Amen!
If we go back to the book of Acts, chapter 8 verses 26 - 39, we see where Philip ministered and shared the gospel with an Ethiopian eunuch. This Ethiopian was one of the first converts to Christianity and obviously, he wasn't a Jew. I think it's important for us to reach across culture and racial differences for the cause of Jesus Christ. Diversity is touted as a recent societal issue, but it is mentioned all through the bible.
My Lord and My God, may I seek diversity within the house of worship. May I become more inclined to listen and to love those of a different culture and race. May I have the heart of Mother Theresa and be willing to serve and minister to those who are so different from me. In Jesus name, I pray! ~Amen!
Yours, because we're His,