November 14, 2023

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.


Romans 15:1-4


Paul calls us into a life marked by the consideration of others’ needs, to bear the weaknesses of the vulnerable among us (Romans 15:1-2). This is a divine invitation to exercise our strength not for personal gain, but as a means of support for those who are weak. In this, we reflect the essence of Christ’s ministry, who lived and died not for Himself, but for the salvation of all.

Tim Keller beautifully captures this sentiment: “The only love that won’t disappoint you is one that can’t change, that can’t be lost, that is not based on the ups and downs of life, or of a relationship.” This unchanging love is our model, and its source is Christ Himself. Our actions, therefore, must be a mirror of this steadfast love, which seeks the best for others without faltering.


The Scriptures, Paul tells us, were written for our learning, that through patience and comfort from them we might hold hope (Romans 15:4). They are not idle words but are the lifeblood of our faith, instilling in us the endurance to serve and the encouragement to persist in love.


In embodying this scriptural love, we not only grow individually but also strengthen the communal fabric of our church. Let us henceforth walk in a manner worthy of the calling we have received, putting the needs of others ahead of our own desires, living as visible embodiments of Christ’s love.

For Reflection

In what areas of my life can I better practice selflessness to uplift those around me?


How might the steady love of Christ, which does not disappoint, reshape my interactions with my community?


Heavenly Father, grant us the grace to live not for ourselves but for others, bearing with them in love and patience, just as You bear with us. Teach us to find our joy in service and our fulfillment in the edification of Your church. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Rev. Deanne Townsend
Pastor for Family Ministries