Thursday, November 8
THE LAW OF LIBERTY
Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters.
2 One person believes he may eat anything, while one who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat, and one who does not eat must not judge one who does, because God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person judges one day to be more important than another day. Someone else judges every day to be the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written,
As I live, says the Lord,
every knee will bow to me,
and every tongue will give praise to God.
12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
The take away from this passage of scripture is simple, but packs a powerful punch to our traditional way of thinking. It would be easy for a Christian who felt free to eat meat to despise others as hopeless legalists. It would also be easy for those who did not eat meat to judge those who did. But God has received those Christians who eat meat, so we are meant to receive one another even with our differences considered. Paul isn’t telling the church in Rome (or us) to erase their differences; he tells them to rise above them as Christian brothers and sisters. There is a lot of useless, harmful division among Christians over silly and trivial things. The things we often choose to stand our ground on are not worth the relational fall out that occurs with the people that disagree with us.
Paul is challenging the Roman believers to weigh whether they hold their physical freedoms and opinions or their relationships in higher regard. No freedom to enjoy a physical thing or an opinion over a trivial matter is worth losing or harming a relationship. Today, consider if there are things in your life that you should surrender in order to maintain peace in relationship with your brothers and sisters.
Father forgive me of my selfishness that values my own opinions more highly than I value the people around. Give me the necessary strength and grace to care more about others than I do about myself.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.