Pastor’s Pen

It is the time of year to pause and consider thankfulness and encouragement. And it seems good to me, and I believe the Holy Spirit also, that a study of a short passage of Paul’s letter to the Romans regarding how to be this way towards one another is in order.

Romans 15

1  We who are strong have an obligation to bear (through the idea of removal – lift, endure, carry, take up) with the failings (a scruple of conscience, infirmity, be feeble in any sense, be diseased) of the weak (unable, impossible, impotent, not strong), and not to please (through the idea of exciting emotion, be agreeable or by implication seek to be so) ourselves.

Many times we forget how weak one another we all can be. God calls us to humbly help lift burdens of those bogged down by scruples’ pressure and the painstaking struggle to obey in Christ, not just our own working power. And honestly, it takes a lot of help from one another to learn to rest in Jesus for sure!

2  Let each of us please his neighbor (near man, close – fellow, countryman, Christian, friend) for his good (benefit, wellness), to build up (architecture, structure, confirmation, edification). 3  For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.”

Oh, what a world of difference it would make if we looked to be benefits and builders of others and not just our selves…. I am convinced that if we did assist one another to edify, confirm and structure our selves towards one another towards Christ in light of His Word and Way – church and family, community and vocation would be far more blessed. All could be enjoyed not just endured.

4  For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction (learning, doctrine, teaching), that through endurance (patience, cheerful – hopeful constancy, waiting, in continuance) and through the encouragement (comfort, imploration, exhortation, solace, consolation, invitation, calling near) of the Scriptures we might have hope (anticipation, expectation, confidence, faith).

Everyone can learn something from anyone! And if we took this approach in our thinking of and relating with one another endurance would rise and encouragement would carry us into great expectations of God and each other. Challenge yourself to take the Scriptures and apply them for not only instruction, but to build endurance, gain encouragement and excite hope’s faith of the future. And share it with one another in that exact same manner.

5  May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony (like-mindedness, same sentiment – opinion, exercise the mind,  mentally disposed interest oneself, set affection, regard, savour) with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, 6  that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7  Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

I take this portion as more than a simple call for unity – but a direct reality that comes from all of the above! Our minds should move from our own set of principles and rules, opinions and sentiments to Christ’s way of seeing and thinking. In fact, if the Holy Spirit is heeded , and we all drink from the same fountain, their should be a lot more likeminded interaction than differences. I have often thought, that many of the differences come between us when we do the thinking for ourselves rather than listening to the Holy Spirit…. What a wonderful thing it would be to see this in our day! To see the abandonment of self and the embrace of Spirit. All those things of men would melt away and God would truly be glorified!

Thankful for You and the Grace of God,

In Christ Jesus, Love –

Pastor Daren


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