Day 37

Glorifying God Together

from the Romans reading plan

Romans 15:1-21, 2 Samuel 22:50-51, Psalm 117:1-2

We are prone to look at success, both worldly and spiritual, as merit, rather than grace. Whenever I think I have grown spiritually, I am tempted to pat myself on the back and feel smug. My heart can take a generous compliment and turn it into entitlement in no time at all. But genuine spiritual growth doesn’t turn our eyes self-ward, nor does it set us on a pedestal to receive honor. Instead, spiritual maturity is manifested in humility and service. This is so because all of life is doxological; it is aimed at one thing: the praise of God.

Paul opens this passage with a clear instruction that grows directly out of this doxological aim: strength, authority, power, and influence are not for self-gain or personal honor. In a culture of self-worship, this is a radical notion. But this radical idea is a hallmark of Christianity, for Christ did not please Himself. He exchanged glory for lowliness, power for humility, and even life for death. This is not just about earthly gains, wealth, and blessing, but about spiritual strength.

For those who follow Christ, Paul says, the life of service to others is not an option but an obligation, for Christ became a servant. Closeness to Christ leads to the building up of the saints in harmony. It produces the fruit of love and service, not of self-serving pride.

For this reason, Paul declares, “I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me” (Romans 15:18). How easy it might have been for Paul to claim honors for himself for the success of his ministry! But Paul’s great legacy as an apostle to the Gentiles came about because of the grace given him by God. The root and the fruit of the Christian life are all of grace, so that no man may boast except in the work of Christ. Therefore, where grace is at work, gratefulness, service, encouragement and harmony results.

Christ’s glorious humility brought salvation to Jew and Gentile alike, that all nations might bring Him praise. For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

When we see the glories of the gospel, delivered to an undeserving and needy people, our tongues are set free to echo God’s praises. May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope, to the praise of His glory.

Written by Caleb Faires

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2 thoughts on "Glorifying God Together"

  1. Chris Greenwood says:

    “1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” – Romans 15

    As I listen to the Hooties and my bride getting ready for the day, these verses strike me in a new way. I have long learned that weaker and stronger have nothing to do with physical strength but rather they speak to maturity in the faith.

    The verses call on those who are stronger in the faith to bear with and build up those who are weaker/younger/less mature in the faith. But I suppose I have never considered these verses in light of parenting before.

    How am I doing bearing with my children? How am I doing not seeking to please myself as a dad and husband? How am I doing seeking to please my children for their good (side note: this doesn’t equal seeking to give them everything they think they need)? How am I doing in the building up of my children and wife?

    Maybe I’ll go back to thinking about this passage the way I used to…this new way cuts a bit too deep….#raisethebar #itreallyislivingandactive

  2. Adam says:

    “That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. “I took on the troubles of the troubled,” is the way Scripture puts it.” Romans 15:3

    Help me to wade out in the troubles of others life. Help me to point them to you. The sticky mess of life is where Jesus did his ministry.

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