27 Oct Welcome Others
Read: Romans 15:1-13
Last Sunday, Pastor Ken preached from Romans 14:13-23, and we were challenged to let love govern our liberty for the sake of the Kingdom, with a Christ-like humility toward our brothers and sisters. This week, Chad Ferrell will exhort us from Romans 15:1-13, to welcome others for God’s glory. As you prepare your heart to come worship this Lord’s Day, read this excerpt from an article on desiringgod.org entitled, “Seek Out Strangers This Sunday.” As you read, ask the Lord to awaken in you a desire to welcome the sojourner out of a gratitude for the inclusion and unity brought through the gospel.
Love the Stranger
If you are a member, someone planted and firmly rooted in a church family, remember that you were once a stranger. Even those who were born and raised in the church they attend must recall that we were once aliens, separated from God’s family (Colossians 1:21).
The Bible calls God’s people to love strangers. Moses wrote that God’s people must “love the sojourner…for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19). Peter reminds his readers, “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:10).
Like unbelieving Israel, many of us struggle to welcome those who don’t look and act like us. But our mission of outreach calls us to bring light to the darkness, and that includes bringing strangers into our church body. This call includes strangers who are Jesus’s disciples as well as strangers who do not know Jesus.
When Christ’s body extends Christ’s love to strangers, it is a gospel miracle, a small but real reflection of Jesus’s own welcome to us: “Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you” (Romans 15:7). Our hearts can rejoice to follow such commands when we view our gatherings as an opportunity to serve others rather than be served. This Sunday, be the hands of Jesus by reaching out and welcoming others. Pray and ask God for eyes to see whom you might welcome at church, whom you might linger with in conversation, and whom you might invite over to your house for a meal.
Excerpt from “Seek Out Strangers This Sunday,” on Desiringgod.org
Song List for Sunday
1.“Come Praise and Glorify,” by Sovereign Grace Music
2.“Oh How Good It Is,” by Keith and Kristyn Getty
3.“God’s Word Stands Sure Forever,” by North Wake Music
4.“His Mercy Is More,” by Matt Boswell
5.“Man of Sorrows,” by Hillsong Worship