Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. – Romans 15:7
This verse gives a METHOD and MOTIVATION for extending life-giving welcoming hospitality to others.
Method: “as Christ has welcomed you”. Jesus meets us right where we are, with grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. He doesn’t welcome us based on our stellar performance, but rather he receives us in spite of our many shortcomings. He welcomes us, warts and all. Jesus isn’t insecure about associating with broken people. In his time on earth he extended love to everyone, but especially to the down and outers that many wouldn’t want to be seen with. I’m still in awe that, as perfect as he is, and as messed up as I am, Jesus is not embarrassed of me. And He’s not embarrassed of you either! He doesn’t have those hang ups and insecurities. And God’s calling us to find our identity and acceptance in the fact that we are accepted by Him, lose our insecurities and fears of what people might think, and welcome others and Christ has welcomed us.
Motivation: “for the glory of God”. When we welcome one another we get to “glorify” or image forth God to others. As God’s image bearers we have a great capacity to not only know God, but also to make Him known. The word glory has the idea of weight. To glorify someone is to have the weight of emphasis placed on them. Welcoming others is a way for us to put the weight of emphasis in our actions, on God, to show what God means to us. For a person saved by grace through faith in Christ in a relationship with God, there’s no greater privilege than glorifying God!!!