Scripture Reading: Romans 12:9-21
Sometimes we feel that as Christians we are truly on our own, especially if our faith has drawn us away from our own family and friends. We truly need fellowship with like believers to help us to survive in this world full of trials and tribulations. That fellowship comes from our local church organization.
However, that local church may not treat us any different than our job, our neighbors, our society. It should be a place that we can go to and feel at home, where we can share our troubles, where we can go to obtain advice without being ridiculed. We should look forward to each Sabbath and the opportunity to share with others who love us and care for us.
Our local church should be a sanctuary where we can feel the peace and love and closeness to Jesus Christ. It is a place of praise and prayer, a place of learning more about God and each other. It is a representation of a body, and we as members represent the parts of that body. No part is any more important than any other, and if one or more of those parts is not functioning the entire body suffers.
It should be a place that we can rejoice when God provides for our needs and be sad when something bad happens to another member. Fellowship and love should be what we feel when we are there, and miss when we are not present. Paul thinks that it is essential that we have such a place and treat it as someplace special, that we look forward to being a part of each week.
- How would the kind of love Paul describes in Romans 12:9-16 transform our relationship with other Christians?
- How important is it to be enthusiastic in all that we do (Romans 12:11)?
- What attitude and responsibility should a believer have toward those in need (Romans 12:13)? Should we treat a stranger any different than we treat a fellow member? To whom should we extend our homes?
- How should we speak about those who mistreat us (Romans 12:14)?
- Is it ever proper to seek revenge (Romans 12:17-19)?
- How would Paul’s advice in Romans 12:17-21 help us to overcome our enemies and evil?