As we have seen over the past few days, loving one another is the first and most important of the gospel “one another’s”, but there are more!!
- Welcoming “one another”
Read Romans 15:7
As believers, God commands us to keep on continually welcoming one another.
This word “welcome” means to accept or to draw in or to admit into fellowship. It was often used to describe taking a person aside for a personal conversation.
Now before we truly understand what this means, let us see how it is rooted in the gospel. The verse itself shows us.
Why and how should we be welcoming one another? In the way that Christ has welcomed us.
So that makes us explore the implications of this a little deeper. How exactly did Christ receive or welcome or accept us?
Did Christ wait for us to get our acts together before He died for us? Did Christ expect us to get rid of all of our issues and baggage before He decided to come to earth and serve us?
What if Christ had the attitude that He would only accept or welcome us if we were worthy enough or good enough or polished enough or together enough?
Read Romans 5:8
Let’s be honest, we are all broken, confused, have issues, and are not perfect. We are sinners who have been saved by grace. If we are to be accepting and welcoming one another like Christ accepted us then we need to not be afraid of each other’s junk.
We cannot say “I will only welcome or accept you if you have your act together, you are like me, and you are nice.”
If Christ adopted that attitude, none of us would ever be saved.
- Bearing the burdens of “one another”
Read Galatians 6:1-3
We all have burdens, and problems, and things we have to deal with in our lives and none of us as believers were meant to go this alone.
One of the issues that I’ve seen in Northeastern Colorado, and I think it’s the farming and ranching mentality, is that we are very self-sufficient and don’t need help from anybody else. To admit that we need helps shows weakness and we’ve been taught to not ask for help and that “God helps those who help themselves”–which is not in the Bible by the way.
We need to have the openness here within the family fellowship we call Emmanuel to have the freedom to ask for help. We need to be able to receive help from others—whether that is financial, emotional, and spiritual.
There are many among us who are weak and that is okay. Those who are strong need to help those who are weak. It may mean that we help watch the kids, or we take a meal over to them, or volunteer to help around the house, or just be there to walk through an issue.
Read Romans 15:1
Are you welcoming or accepting others? Are you bearing the burdens of others? Many times we complain that others aren’t accepting us or welcoming us or bearing our burdens, but expressing the “one another’s” in church life is a two way street.
One of the most effective ways you can both give and receive this type of love and support is through a disciple-making small group where you can do this in practical ways.
On Sunday mornings in a worship service, it is very hard to do this on a consistent, personal and practical basis.
Ask God to begin to soften your heart to how you can “do life” with other believers and practice these “one another’s”.
Thank you that you accepted me when I was unacceptable. Thank you that you extended grace to me when I was your enemy. You also bore my burden on the cross and for that I am forever thankful. Please by your powerful grace, help me to welcome others and to bear the burdens of others. Show me practical ways I can do this today. Help me to see the value of connecting to a disciple-making small group in order to live these out in real ways in obedience to You.