Daily Reading: Romans 1:1–16

That you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. (Rom. 1:12)

Marlin Perkins was the original host of the long-running TV show Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. At the time the show first aired, he was fifty-eight years old. He remained involved with its production until age eighty—one year before his death.

As a child, I loved watching Perkins’ thrilling adventures with the wild animals but I never really understood the whole “Mutual of Omaha” thing. Then I learned it was an insurance company, but I still didn’t understand the use of the word mutual. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, in relationship to insurance at least, a mutual plan is one in which the members share in the profits and expenses of the company.

That sounds a little bit like God’s kingdom—except for one small detail: God took all the risk and bore all the expense when He sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place. When Jesus rose from the dead, He enabled His followers to share in the “profits” of the kingdom. One of those profits includes another definition of mutual: “directed by each other toward the others.”

When we live and share our faith with the family of God, we encourage each other. But this encouragement isn’t just a quick “God bless you.” Other translations of Romans 1:12 use words such as strengthened, helped, blessed, and comforted. Sharing our faith together can build us up, carry us through tough times, change our outlook, and motivate us to grow.

Look for opportunities to share your faith this week in God’s “wild kingdom.”

Be encouraged—share your faith.

Mary McNeil lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, and enjoys jet-skiing, sailing, reading, and hanging out with her family and three dogs.