Romans Devotional

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Day 54 - Unity

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Reading: Romans 15:8-13

Reflective Thoughts

Unity

We think highly of unity. People have called for it to win wars and declare peace. John Dickinson wrote "By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall" in a Revolutionary War song back in the 1770s. Sonny and Cher sang some of the same lyrics in a song about the brotherhood of humanity in the 1970s. In the church, we tend to think of unity in terms of people who are just like us. But Jesus has something wholly different in mind. He prayed about unity this way: "... that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." (John 17:21).

His prayer for unity is not generational or cultural. Both the Jews (the circumcision) and the Gentiles were saved through Him. Unity is not even based on our relationships with one another. Close friendships and allied theology does not equal spiritual oneness. Unity is first based on relationship with Christ. We don't need to be multicultural or cross-generational or theological experts to love one another. We need to be experts in our own relationship with Jesus. How is yours today?

 

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Day 53 - Blueprints

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Reading: Romans 15:4-7

Reflective Thoughts

Blueprints

 

One of the things we inherited with our purchase of a 1929 bungalow was the original blueprints. The house was remodeled by the previous owners, and the blueprints have been helpful for us to see what the vision of the original builder was-why it worked then and why some of the remodeling that was done doesn't work so well now. Someone didn't follow the plan.

When Paul, in the previous verses exhorts the church to imitate Christ, he directs it to God's blueprint for the Body of Christ-the Scriptures themselves. They have endured. They are meant to encourage us. They map out the plan that enables us to be of "one mind" according to the Master Builder, whose "House" is comprised of each of us. On the basis of Scripture Paul tells us to receive one another-even as each brick of a home receives the support and weight of the others to make a sturdy structure. It works when you follow the blueprints.

 

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