Day 32

Glorifying God Together

from the Romans reading plan

Romans 15:1-33, 2 Samuel 22:50-51, Psalm 117:1-2

BY Kaitie Stoddard

Some of my fondest childhood memories include long summer days at the pool. These memories are filled with flipping off the diving board, shouting “Marco Polo,” and of course, playing King of the Mountain. The goal of King of the Mountain was to be the only one on top of the raft, ruling your kingdom by any means necessary. Growing up with brothers, I had to be scrappy and strategic to win this brutal game. From a young age, I learned that only the strong survive.

I’m told that as a grown-up, it’s not cool to push people off rafts at the pool. The thing is, though, we still want to be on top. We just have different rafts now, and we’ve learned to defend our turf in more covert, “polite” ways. 

So much of how we respond has to do with the season we’re in. When we’re treading water, we hope and pray for a gracious hand to help us onto the raft. But when we’re on top, it’s easy to become prideful in our position. It gets especially ugly when we believe there isn’t enough room on the raft for everyone. Even in the Church, we can foster the belief that the kingdom of God only has space for the “good” people, whether we’re conscious of it or not. 

In our reading for today, Paul was writing to a Roman church composed of two very different people groups: the Jews and the Gentiles. Even from its earliest days, it seems there were divisions among the believers in that region. Those who were “strong” didn’t want to help those they considered weak. But Paul challenged the Romans to accept one another, just as Christ had accepted them (Romans 15:7).

Paul points out that even the strongest among us, Jesus Christ, did not use His power to please Himself. If anybody had a right to boast, it was the Lord, yet He took our weakness upon Himself to the point of sacrificing His very life. 

We are all in need of God’s grace. In that humility, we can seek to be like Jesus Christ, freely passing on the strength and encouragement gifted to us. If the Lord of the universe humbled Himself and bore our weaknesses, how much more eager should we be to do the same for those whom He’s placed around us?

In addition to following the sacrificial example of Jesus, Paul also calls the Roman church to accept one another for the glory of God. When we’re competitive and exclusive in our churches, how do you suppose we’re seen from the outside? Our witness is compromised by our selfishness. But if we’re a countercultural people and can demonstrate with love and sincerity that there is room at the table of God, then we will have something divinely different to offer.

It’s tempting to believe the lie of this world that we must fight to be on top. But in the kingdom of God, there is always enough for everyone. As believers, we’re called to lay down our lives for others just as Christ did, to love both the strong and the weak. If we stop trying to protect our little rafts, together we will glorify and join in celebration with the one true King, who lives and reigns over all the mountains. 

Post Comments (56)

56 thoughts on "Glorifying God Together"

  1. Lynn Saylor says:

    Nancy S. We are 4 years post Alzheimer’s diagnosis and my husband is now at the moderate stage needing help with grooming and all decision making. We go somewhere every day as he is bored and unable to entertain himself.

    But God is faithful and surrounds us with family and friends who love, support and encourage. And He is making me more like Jesus every day!!

  2. Minnie Lee says:

    Thank you for this beautiful devotional. There is truly enough grace for everyone in the Kingdom. No need to protect myself and fight to stay on the raft!

  3. Maria Baer says:

    LEHUA— Thank you, Jesus, that they are good. You were on my heart and prayers yesterday. Thanks for the update.

  4. Shannon L says:

    That’s a beautiful perspective Sharon!!

  5. HL says:

    Thank you all for your prayers regarding my job situation and moving on to the next opportunity He has for me.

    LEHUA-Wonderful that you were able to speak to your parents and that they’re safe. Continuing to lift up everyone on the island of Maui.

    CAROLYN-prayers for your husband Randy and your children as they travel. That you will continue to feel love, support and peace from Him.

  6. Lehua K. says:

    Thank you all and PRAISE JESUS… I was driving home from work today and my dad just called from his cell. I talked to both my mom and dad, they’re doing fine. They left home to get groceries and have reception out on the highway somewhere. ❤️ They’ve been staying at home, they didn’t evacuate since the area is still safe. Their power is still out but one of their neighbor friends has a generator.

    Continuing to pray for the rest of the island and all the families who have been affected. ❤️

  7. Donna Wolcott says:

    Dear Carolyn, prayers for your husband and safe travels for your children.

  8. Carolyn Barron says:

    Such a great study. I never usually comment on here. But want to ask for you ladies to pray for my husband Randy. He was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer which has spread to his liver. He had a fast growing aggressive rumor tumor removed on July 19 and we went home to recover from surgery before beginning chemo. Complications including losing over 14# in a week necessitated a second hospital stay including a few days in ICU. We’re in the hospital tonight as he undergoes his first chemo treatment. Romans 15:13 has been one of many verses that have been life giving lately. Two of our three kids arrived yesterday and our oldest is traveling through the night from Spain where she lives. It’s all been so unexpected and HARD. but I have never felt more loved and cared for by the Lord and our community. I have NO idea how anyone goes through something like this without the Lord!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *