Friday, May 12, 2017

May 12 - Romans 15

Today's reading in our daily plan is Romans 15. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Paul continues the theme he developed in chapter 14 - to love one another and strive for unity. This was critical encouragement because of the many divisions facing the young church at that time.
  • Paul then spends 13 verses encouraging unity over division. This was critical because the young church was divided between the Gentiles (non-Jews) and the Jews. The Jews believed God was only for them and perhaps were not particularly happy that Gentiles were coming to faith. So, Paul explains that God is for the Gentiles also, and that God had called him specifically to reach out to them.
  • Paul concludes by asking people to pray that he might be effective as he moves on sharing the gospel, and for protection from those who will oppose him.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • God wants His followers to live in unity. It's so easy to let small and petty differences divide us, but we need to put God and His mission first, and put others before ourselves. When we do, we will be unified and we will thrive.
  • Paul says in verses 20-21 that he wants to help people who never knew about Jesus to find Him. That is also the goal of Verve. It should also be the goal of every Christian.
  • We need to pray for those who are doing God's work around the world, especially those who are facing opposition. There are many parts of the world where it's dangerous to tell people about Jesus or gather at a church.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • We're taught to have unity in the church by having "the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had." Jesus set aside all his personal needs and desires so He could serve and give up his life for others.
    • Do you put others before yourself?
    • Is there any division in any of your relationships right now?
    • Do you see how that is caused by you putting yourself first?
    • Will you obey God and seek unity with that person by putting him or her above yourself?
  • How can you help someone who isn't connected to Jesus this week? How could you serve them so they see God's love in you? Could you invite that person to Verve? And how can you help Verve in God's mission of sharing Jesus with those who don't really know Him?