Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Romans 15:2
“See that?” The clock repairman pointed his flashlight beam on a small, fine mark roughly engraved inside the old grandfather clock he was working on in our home. “Another repairman could have put that there almost a century ago,” he said. “It’s called a ‘witness mark,’ and it helps me know how to set the mechanism.”
Before the age of technical bulletins and repair manuals, “witness marks” were used to help the person making a future repair align moving parts with precision. They were more than just time-saving reminders; they were often left as a simple kindness to the next person doing the work.
The Bible encourages us to leave our own “witness marks” as we work for God by serving others in our broken world. The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome: “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up” (Romans 15:2). This is the example of our God, “who gives endurance and encouragement” (v. 5). It’s about being a good citizen of both earth and heaven.
Our “witness marks” may seem like small things, but they can make a vital difference in someone’s life. An uplifting word, a financial gift to someone in need, and a listening ear—all are kindnesses that can have a lasting impact. May God help you make a mark for Him in someone’s life today!
By James Banks
REFLECT & PRAY
What “witness marks” have others left in your life to encourage you? What simple kindness can you do for another believer today?
Almighty Father, thank You for the loving-kindness You’ve shown me through Your Son, Jesus. Please help me to reflect Your love in even the smallest things I do today.
In the midst of its rich theological teaching and solid practical application, one of the sometimes-overlooked themes in the letter to the Romans is hope. The word hope appears multiple times, including five times in chapter 15. These references remind us that hope comes from endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures (v. 4) and that even the gentiles have been included in this hope (v. 12). Paul goes on to remind the Romans—and us—that God is the God of hope who longs for us to experience it as the Spirit works in us (v. 13). In fact, verse 13 reminds us that this hope is directly connected to the joy and peace we have from God as we trust Him.