"A Christian is a most free lord of all, subject to none.
A Christian is a most dutiful servant of all, subject to all."
(Martin Luther, "A Treatise on Christian Liberty")
Jesus is our primary example, He bore with us, and we should bear with and accept one another, especially the weak. We are to think less of what we have the freedom to do and think about how our conduct affects others. Our goal should be the building up and blessing of others. We can draw the spiritual power to do this through the Word of God (15:4) and prayer (15:5-6). This all glorifies God (15:7).
Romans 15:14 - 16:27 is Paul's long good-bye to the Romans. So, I will include the remainder of Romans 15 in tomorrow's post.
My favorite English novelist, Jane Austen, once wrote:
"Incline us, oh God, to think humbly of ourselves, to be severe only in the examination of our own conduct, to consider our fellow-creatures with kindness, and to judge all they say and do with that charity which we would desire from them ourselves"
(The Doubleday Christian Quotation Collection, p. 161).
Doesn't that line up beautifully with our reading for today?
Love trumps all. It really does. How are you doing in the love department?
Pray and ask God what your "I will" statement will be for today.
An example might be:
"I will build up and bless my husband by telling him how much I appreciate his investment in our boys."
My husband goes about things in a totally different way than I would go about doing things. His investment looks different from mine based on our different gifts, talents, and personalities. I can judge "how" he invests or I can praise him that he invests; one tears down and one builds up. It is obvious which one I should choose.
(2015 Update: As I edited the whole book of Romans, he was in the living room talking for hours with our youngest son. That is true investing. I should tell him how much I appreciate it again!)
Also, here is an excellent analysis of 1 Corinthians 13 and the role of love in the believer's life by the Scottish evangelist, Henry Drummond, written in 1880:
"The Greatest Thing in the World"
"The Greatest Thing in the World" Audio
Jesus, help us to follow Your example of selfless love. Amen.