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The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday, September 14, 2023, was written by Zach Schaar of Ohio.



9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are.

Romans 12:9-16 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

Growing up I loved to play the guitar. While playing an instrument came easily to me, singing did not. I remember enrolling in classes with a vocal coach and attempting to learn the art of singing. Every week as the instructor plucked away at notes on the piano, she challenged my voice as she made her way up and down the keys. I longed for her words of affirmation saying, "there you go, you got every note in that octave!" And I dreaded "You are flat." or "You are sharp." Learning to sing was a challenging process. It not only forced me out of my comfort zone but also required constant practice. My voice had to become versatile to adapt to the songs I was singing.

In Romans, Paul tells us to live in harmony with one another. However, this is not always easy to do. When I think of all the people I have encountered over the years, there are some I have found extremely difficult to harmonize with. But as Christians that is exactly what we're called to do - to love others even when it seems impossible. Today I am asking God to help me to love others regardless of how difficult it may be. With a humble heart, I will repay unkindness with love, desiring to please God with a harmonious song.


Pastor Anthony's Thoughts


I invite you to re-read Zach's reflection, asking yourself: Is God calling me to show kindness toward someone I find challenging?


Author's Prayer

Dear God, help us to love those who don't always seem to love us. Amen.


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