Romans 15:5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
AND – a conjunction used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences that are to be taken jointly.
There are some people who can thrive and grow together debating their significant differences on various topics. I want to be one of them. I’d rather talk about the things that we agree on even though I may think something different. That’s not endurance or encouragement, that’s avoidance. Mind and voice are not exclusive, they’re connected by divine design. That’s how I happened to notice every “and” in these two verses of Romans. That one little word can make such a big difference in my “attitude of mind” if I pay attention to my need for it.
It’s become the basis of my simple prayer for today. “May the God who gives…” give me endurance AND encouragement; one mind AND one voice so we can grow AND thrive together to glorify the God AND father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
Hallowed: regarded as holy; venerated; sacred
1. Abba, your name itself is holy.
2. Your name is the prayer.
3. Your name is sacred in the life of your creation…my life.
I’m grateful you have chosen to be an eternal presence in the world you made. I’m thankful for your willingness to teach me my life is your blessing. Teach me to see holiness through your eyes not through rules of my own making.
It was just a few years ago that I first heard of Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”). It’s not a theological analysis of biblical passages but choosing to read and ponder your personal relationship with God through his Living Word.
Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
God took a risk when He gave Adam the possibility of choosing not to obey rather than physically preventing him from eating. Think about the trust involved in giving that freedom to Adam…and to us! That’s prime Divine Reading [and pondering].
For God to be willing to risk letting his creation make a wrong choice seems like the ultimate submission on his part. The omnipotent God staking His reputation on “our” choices because “He first loved…” is pretty amazing when you think of it. He did have a plan but sometimes I just wish he’d done it the other way.
Lord, give me this day the courage to make you proud.