Monday, October 8, 2012

FOR THE STRONG AND THE WEAK

Thursdays are my favorite. It's my earliest start day which makes it my hardest morning, but the reward is so worth it! I get to help with a coaches Bible study at 6:45 am, greet students on their way in as I leave, and then hit up a local coffee shop to prep and study for other upcoming Bible studies, team devotions, and discipleship groups I have the privilege of leading each week! Last week I had some sweet time studying in Romans 15 and thought I would share with you...as iron sharpens iron, right! 
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 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 15:1-7 (ESV)
Let's take this verse by verse and unpack its richness!


vs. 1 à Some of us are in seasons where we are strong and some of us are weak. There is always someone stronger than you and always someone weaker than you. It's your duty to come along side those that are weak and not just look out for yourself. 
vs. 2 à Focus on the other person and their needs. Learn their love language instead of loving them just how you receive love. This will build them up the most. 
vs. 3 à Christ did the most good for us, more than we could have ever imagined. He took on our sin - what could have been more selfless? He who knew no sin took on our sin, endured our sin and the conquered that ugly mess through His resurrection! 
vs. 4 à We weren't left alone to pursue this! We have the Scriptures to guide and direct, to encourage and testify and to give hope! But you can't have these without reading Scripture and knowing it. 
vs. 5 à With God we can have harmony. We can be "on pitch" and pleasing to one another and to God. We aren't alone, but many parts working together as planned in Christ. 
vs. 6 à Our objective always: to glorify God! Keyword though is "together". You have a part and you need other parts. Which means bearing one another's burdens and encouraging one another for greatness. 
vs. 7 à We were once (and still are) weak and Christ welcomed us for His glory. In response to His grace and mercy we too welcome and build up others so as a result He is glorified in us! May He be more and more glorified in us!!

For each of us, we will always go through seasons where our spiritual life is stronger or weaker at times. However, as we grow in our relationship with Christ the extremity of those spikes and pitfalls should decline greatly. The good news is there is always someone stronger than us that we can allow to pour into our lives, to encourage us exactly as we need encouraging, to speak truth (even when it hurts), and to challenge us to go deeper with Christ. At the same time, there is always someone weaker in our lives. Someone for us to encourage...and to encourage as they need it, now how we need it, to challenge, to speak truth to, and to be there for. When we allow strong people in our life and we seek out opportunities to pour into other, HARMONY takes place and God is GLORIFIED!


Who are you allowing to pour into you? Who are you pouring into? 



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