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ACCEPT ONE ANOTHER

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Church greeters on a Sunday morning have a very important role. They are the first people who worshipers meet as they enter the building. Through their friendly smiles and welcoming attitudes, they let everyone know people are valued and welcome.

In today’s passage, Paul gives final instructions to the church in Rome. As is true in our churches today, there were people at many different stages of their spiritual journey. Some were young believers, still figuring out how to walk steadily in a pagan world. Others were seasoned believers who were knowledgeable about the faith. With an attitude of prayer, Paul asks God to give both groups His “endurance” and “encouragement” (v. 5) toward one another. From his own experience, Paul knew that living in harmony and unity with others could only be realized through God’s power.

When believers from various stages and ages of life join together, God is glorified (v. 6). Paul uses a unique Greek word to describe believers as having “one mind” and “one voice” (v. 6). This word is used frequently in the book of Acts when Luke defines the Christian community. In the original language it is the compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison.” Picture a conductor of an orchestra who is setting the tempo to ensure unity among the instruments. Similarly, the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of believers for God’s glory.

Therefore, with the Spirit’s power of endurance and encouragement toward one another, Paul tells his readers they are to accept each other (v. 7). Despite our physical differences and various degrees of spiritual maturity we welcome one another. Why? He reminds us that because Christ welcomed each of us, exactly as we were (v. 7), we should welcome one another.

>> You don’t have to be on the “Welcoming Team” at church to welcome people who are different from you. At the next service you attend, say hello and meet someone you have never met before.

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