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Session 15

Shock And Awe

Read: Romans 15

A college student speeds through a red light and crashes into a young family’s SUV. The student suffers mainly bruises from the airbag, but the young father in the SUV has brain injuries and may never work again. The next day the young wife calls the student:  “Are you okay? I pray that God will comfort you with His great love.  He created you, and He loves you so much.”

Most of us would be filled with shock and awe that anyone could be that forgiving. But that’s what Jesus did for us. Jesus extended undeserved love and forgiveness to us, and He asks us to give that same grace and encouragement to others.

Romans 15:1-6 instructs us to love each other and build up those who are weaker than ourselves.  What does this look like in everyday life? This is a coach telling his quarterback,  “You ignored my instructions, costing us the game, but I believe in you and your desire to listen and learn.”  This is a restaurant manager telling a new server after three wrong orders, “The first shift is tough for everybody, but you are smart and diligent, so I know you will get this!”

Only God can make us this generous and forgiving. Romans 15:5 says, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ had…”

The ability to love freely and generously comes from God as we follow Jesus step by step.  As we let God’s love change our lives, we have more forgiveness and encouragement to share with others. God’s amazing grace enables us to love each other regardless of our backgrounds or failures.  And as we do, God uses us, a bunch of imperfect people, to change our churches and the world.


  • Does loving this way seem impossible?  Why or why not?
  • What’s one way you can love someone extravagantly today?

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