You Are Welcome Here!
October 13, 2020
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:7 NIV
No one disputes that we live in a divisive, inhospitable day and age. Many if not most of us feel divided by everything from our particular race, nationality, age, gender, religion, political party, spiritual beliefs, social and marital status, and more. That’s just the beginning of the relational struggle with rejection. Sadly, the lack of acceptance in our hostile, critical culture too often extends to our homes and marriages. In the place where we most crave acceptance and value, we find the deepest of hurts. We just don’t measure up to the expectations of the person we love.
That kind of response is in stark contrast to the believer’s calling. Jesus-followers are to stand alongside, accept and be for each other, not come against each other. Paul is reminding us to accept each other the way Jesus has accepted us. Did He accept us because we were so much like Him? Because we got it all right? Because we never disappointed Him? No, Jesus accepted us despite our differences, screwups, and failures.
The New Living Translation states it this way: “Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you.” “Accept” sometimes has a connotation of reluctance in our culture. The definition is “consent to receive.” When we think of being accepted in relationships, few of us would feel too encouraged that someone “consented to receive us.” We get accepted at a college as a student, but staying there depends on great effort. We may find ourselves on probation after the first semester
On the other hand, we all crave an enthusiastic welcome. Chick-fil-A is famous for its welcome. From the minute you pull into their line winding all the way around the restaurant, it’s apparent they are glad you are there. If you thank them, everyone says, “It was my pleasure.” If you have a well-loved dog, he literally overwhelms you with his welcome when you come home. He craves your attention and showers you with affection. The welcome of Jesus is like that. In the midst of the whole world of people, He welcomes and loves you like you are the one and only. Perhaps that’s why John called himself “the apostle that Jesus loved”—he was so conscious of the welcome. The people who love me need that kind of welcome and love from me. It helps the relationship, and it causes people to praise God.
- Do the people in my life feel consistently accepted, even welcomed? Do they feel my enthusiasm for them and my pleasure that they are here with me?
- Pray: Jesus, help me give Your kind of welcome; the welcome You gave me.