Monday Morning: 08 Apr 2019 – Romans 14 ~ aim for harmony

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Romans 14 (NLT)

The Danger of Criticism

Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.

So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures say,

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”

Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.

I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.
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Morning Reflection:

“The Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink,
but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God,
and others will approve of you, too.
So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”
– Romans 14:17-19

Today’s reading warns believers to be forbearing and accepting of the inconsequential differences we will inevitably have with other believers. We are reminded that –

+ Believers are all seeking to please the Lord, to practice their faith
+ Believers will inevitably have preferential differences on practical matters
+ Believers will inevitably have differences of opinion on unclear biblical matters
+ Believers must learn to accept these differences and get along with one another
+ Believers must remember that God will sort it out; He is the Lord and judge of all

Questions for consideration:

Here are some inconsequential differences between believers that has nevertheless caused conflict in the church:

  • The King James Bible is the only acceptable translation.
  • You should dress up for church as you would if you were going to meet the President.
  • Contemporary music accompanied by guitars and drums has no place in the church.
  • We should only sing hymns accompanied on the piano and organ.
  • It is sin for Christians to drink any alcoholic beverages or use tobacco.
  • Christians should have nothing to do with Christmas and Easter, which are pagan holidays.

Q: Have you experienced any of these differences in your faith community? How were they handled? Was unity within the church preserved? Please explain.

Q: How can you determine the difference between what is non-essential and what requires correction? Please explain.

The kingdom of God… is a matter of living a life of goodness
and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
– Romans 14:17

Q: Can you think of an example where a personal preference or opinion that you hold is detrimental to building up and strengthening the Kingdom of God? Please explain.
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Morning Prayer:

Heavenly Father: Make us one in you through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. Fill us with his peace and joy so that whether we live or die we honor you. And above all, infuse us with his love that we may strengthen and build up other believers, and agree to disagree where we have differences. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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“Romans 8” – ReGen Harmony

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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