Each year at Kingswood University we select a theme verse for the coming academic year. This year’s verse is actually two, Romans 15:5-6.
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.
One of the amazing things about Scripture is that you can swim around in a given passage for a long time and never touch bottom. That must be something of what Paul meant when he referred to all Scripture as “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16).
I’ve been spending a lot of time in these verses recently and I certainly haven’t exhausted their insights. Note, for example, how God provides what each of us need, perhaps now more than ever: endurance and encouragement. He gives us endurance, what someone described as “bulldoggish-hangontiveness.” But He also gives encouragement. What a perfect combination: the ability to keep going, not with a hang-dog expression, but with hope!
Although God provides what we need, He loves us too much to let us think it’s all about us. Our focus needs to be on having the same attitude of mind toward each other. The larger context lets us know that the Apostle Paul is speaking here about the Church, and the need for us to work together in unity.
Most of us think too little of the church, but it occupies an important role in God’s plan for the universe. Elsewhere Paul will speak of God putting the church on display to demonstrate what the cross of Christ can accomplish (Ephesians 2:6-7).
Our goal, however, is not just to endure encouraged, or to be a unified church. Our goal is to glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God helps us to accomplish our purpose as humans, to glorify Him. Now that’s something to be encouraged about!