Bind Us Together – Christian Unity
Ulterior motives cause us to honor our bosses so they’ll reward us, our employees so they’ll work harder, the wealthy so they’ll contribute to our cause, and the powerful so they’ll use their power for and not against us.
In this passage, Paul urges us to honor people on a different basis—because they’re created in God’s image, because they’re our brothers and sisters in Christ, and because they have a unique contribution to make to His church.
Interact with God’s Word: Romans 12:9-18
- What makes affection genuine (vv. 9-10)?
- What makes it phony?
- In what practical ways (v. 13) did Paul suggest first-century believers could care for each other?
- What suggestions could you add to fit the twenty-first century?
- What attitudes does Paul commend (vv. 15-16) for living in harmony with other believers?
- What part of living in peace with everyone (vv. 17-18) can you influence?
- What part depends on the other person?
Spend Time in Prayer: Ask God for genuine love that will motivate you to make the concentrated effort that real personal involvement demands.
9 Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
11 Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful.
13 When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night.
14 If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
15 When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible.