There are many references to “one another” found in the New Testament. One is located in Romans 15:7, and is the title of today’s devotional. Notice that the same verse tells us that we are to receive (which means to take in, like a wide receiver takes in the football) one another as Christ received us. The Scriptures proclaim that Jesus received us when we were weak and ungodly, still sinners and His enemies! Not only that, but we were “dead in trespasses and sins,” influenced by the devil, and enslaved to our own lusts. This was the condition each of us were in when we became “born again” In the presence of Almighty God every person is either a publican or a Pharisee.
Now, how does this tie in with receiving one another? Simply in this way: from personal experience and observation, many people in the body of Christ have substituted the word “receive” with the word “tolerate”. To tolerate means “to put up with; stomach; endure”. Tell me, saint, is that how you see Jesus receiving you? Is He merely stomaching you; putting up with, and enduring you? No! He is merciful and longsuffering with each of us. After all, each of us is “under construction”, aren’t we? To my knowledge, none have arrived. No matter how long we’ve been walking with the Lord, each of us still has dark spots and rough edges that need the grace and power of God to forgive and change.
Are you a good listener? Do people in the body get refreshed by you, or do you drain others? I should receive you like Christ received me. I should forgive you as Christ forgave me. However, “should” and “do” are two different words, with two different outcomes. To receive one another unconditionally makes us “doers of the word, and not hearers only”. Yes, there might be some friction and a little “jabbing” from time to time, but since my Lord has received you, so can I. And you can do the same with me. This will require “Christ-likeness”, but that’s the beauty of it all.
To walk like Jesus requires my being able to receive all kinds of people. This is evidence of saving faith and a changed heart.