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What a crazy thought…The simple act of biting your lip is an act of worship to our Lord.  Paul was a very outspoken guy, he had trekked on 3 missionary journeys across Europe and Asia.  In each of those journeys, he had opportunities to see the best and the worst of the family of Christ both in the Jewish and Gentile world.  Yet, as he was wrapping up his guide to following Christ–in Rome, he focused on this major theme—People are weak, they will disappoint you—So if you want to be like Christ, then bear with them. 

No ministry in the family of God is more personal or more Christ like than the ministry of accepting people as being flawed.  Then working with them and encouraging them to be like Christ.  People respond to patient encouragement.  Think of Jesus—he literally spent three years pouring into the Apostles—they heard all his sermons, saw all his miracles and saw him at his best and most vulnerable moments.  Still, on the day of his crucifixion, they scattered like mice and hid.  After he rose, he met up with them, did not judge them—but prepared them for what became the tool that changed the world.

We are to be like him.  We are to bear with each other, recognize the frailty of men and patiently encourage and drive them to a right relationship with him.  Alcoholic’s Anonymous gets it—they offer regular times to meet, they always listen and encourage—without judging, they take life one day at a time and they move people to sobriety.  Hi, My name is Mike and I’m a sin alcoholic.  It has been ___ minutes since my last sin…(WELCOME MIKE!!!) Jesus said it best, “Let he who is without sin—cast the first stone!”

God Bless You

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”[a] For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.