Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Christ has welcomed us for the glory of God. For the glory of God He chose us from eternity (Ephesians 1:5-6), became man (Romans 15:8-9), lived a perfect life (John 17:4), and died for our sins (Romans 3:25-26). All of His savings acts, all of His love for us, flowed first and foremost from a desire for Himself and His Father to be glorified (John 17:1-2).
What does the God-centeredness of God’s love teach us? In the context of today’s verse, we are told to welcome one another for the same reason that Christ welcomed us– for the glory of God. We are called to have God-centered love for people. Often we get this wrong by either thinking we can be God-centered without regard for people, or that to truly love people we have to be focused on them. We are to love people with a passion that flows not from their great worth, but from God’s great worth. Only that kind of love for God can sustain the sacrifices of love for people we will sustain when walking with Jesus on the Calvary road.
To that end, John Calvin writes, “If we would hold the true course in love, our first step must be to turn our eyes not to man, the sight of whom might more often produce hatred than love, but to God, who requires that the love which we bear to Him must be diffused among all mankind. So our fundamental principle must ever be: Let a man be what he may, he is still to be loved, because God is loved.”
Dear God, I want to be known by my love, so that all men will know that You are real and powerful and glorious. Focus all the affections of my heart on You. Be my all in all. Be glorified in me. Lord, make that my passion and my life’s goal. Only then, I know, will I be able to love people with a passionate God-centeredness that honors You and makes others glad in You.
“Trying to describe the Eternal using earthly words is like trying to scoop up the whole ocean into the palm of your hand. Yet we joyfully struggle for words and continue on our worshipful quest of expressing the inexpressible, describing the indescribable, pronouncing the unspeakable, explaining the unfathomable, painting the invisible.” ~Vicky Beeching