Day 37

Glorifying God Together

from the Romans reading plan


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

BY Guest Writer

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

Some of my fondest memories as a kid include long summer days spent 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 at 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 comprised of two very different people groups: the Jews and the Gentiles. Even from its earliest days, it seems there were divisions amongst 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, freely passing on the strength and encouragement that has been 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.

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

Post Comments (41)

41 thoughts on "Glorifying God Together"

  1. Jasmin says:

    So good!!

  2. It seems I didn’t make my way to this yesterday for a reason … I needed it this morning. I’m at my summer sales meeting for work and it’s often a time of boasting and reward and “look at me” and it’s also a new test for me as a new believer in December because this is the first time peers are really seeing me talk about my walk openly.
    Jesus, I’m so grateful for what you did for us. Thank you!! May your presence be with me today as I am mindful of my words and caring towards peers.

    1. Brandi says:

      Lifting you up today Sister!

  3. Kari says:

    I always look forward to Kaitie’s devotionals! Thank you!!

  4. Karen From Virginia says:

    Competition has never brought me peace. Enjoyed this reminder to love in humility and there’s no need to fight for what God desires to give to bless all.

  5. Joselin says:

    Hermosa palabra, y un devocional muy cálido. Bendiciones.

  6. Nyla says:

    Romans 15 1-21 today I am drawn to study in the midst of family, with adults (parents of) 6 little ones, running, swimming, yelling, etc… This is a constant on these beautiful summer days. One would think “that’s the life!” It is. But, for a person that is truly an introvert, this can be taxing. “Fish and company stink after 3 days,” said Ben Franklin, I think. Then I need a time to clean up, a time to rest and a time to catch up on what I have to done. Plus a time to do me, paint, write, bible study, run, whatever it is I want to do. Summertime, baby watch (daughter due with #3, any day) does not lend itself to my ways. Some how, even though I feel the tensions rising within, I must figure out a way to let the love of Christ shine through. When I let my feelings run or my head race, I begin to disappear into my angst. God I don’t want to do that! God I wish I could just be and go with the flow of things. He knows all of this, yet made me how I am. So I steal away while the party is going and pray the Holy Spirit will be active and alive in me. I pray for grace and strength and the ability to ignore my head. I pray for my light to shine in spite of myself. I don’t think I am alone in this struggle.
    Romans 15 calls us to love the weaker brother. Be inclusive. In all circumstances at all times be welcoming and let His light shine for others to see and witness. I am praying I can and will be that today. This very moment is an intentional time of study and prayer to be the best light I can be.

  7. Jen says:

    This was such an encouraging and practical devotional! Thank you!

  8. Kylee says:

    If anyone is hitting their knees this morning, my friend Kelsey and her family could use your prayers. Her 4th pregnancy had unexpected complications that resulted in her sweet son being born at just 22 weeks. He’s very small but the nurses say he’s feisty! We are praying for strength day by day for baby boy, for reassurance for Kelsey, and for peace to surround their whole family (Isaiah 41:10)! Thank you sisters.

    1. Renee says:

      Praying!

      1. Kylee says:

        Thank you, Renee ❤️

    2. Jen says:

      Lord, You are everything and so we turn to you now, asking for Your hand of grace in this anxiety producing situation. Lord please give Your peace and strength to Kelsey and her husband and especially your strength to sweet little Fiesty. Lord, we look to You in this situation. We ask that Your will be done but we also ask that it would be a healthy life for Baby. Please help all involved to look to and trust you. Amen

      1. Kylee says:

        Thank you Jen ❤️

    3. Jenny says:

      Wow, praying for Kelsey and her baby boy!

      1. Kylee says:

        Thank you Jenny!

    4. Holly says:

      Praying for all of them.

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