TOPIC: Love Transcends Differences
READ: Romans 14:1-23(NKJV)
- Receive one who is weak in the faith, [but] not to disputes over doubtful things.
- For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats [only] vegetables.
- Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.
- Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
- One person esteems [one] day above another; another esteems every day [alike.] Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
- He who observes the day, observes [it] to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe [it.] He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
- For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.
- For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
- For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
- But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
- For it is written: [“As] I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”
- So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.
- Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in [our] brother’s way.
- I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that [there is] nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him [it is] unclean.
- Yet if your brother is grieved because of [your] food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.
- Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;
- for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
- For he who serves Christ in these things [is] acceptable to God and approved by men.
- Therefore let us pursue the things [which make] for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
- Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed [are] pure, but [it is] evil for the man who eats with offense.
- [It is] good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor [do anything] by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
- Do you have faith? Have [it] to yourself before God. Happy [is] he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
- But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because [he does] not [eat] from faith; for whatever [is] not from faith is sin.
Paul, while admonishing the Church at Rome, mentioned some corrective measures to the building and keeping of Christian fellowship. Love is revealed as the basic principle that keeps a fellowship or community growing and going. He pointed out situations where we can exhibit love to sustain a fellowship: The strong accepting the weak, food or behavioural alignment, observing things as unto God, etc. Love encourages acceptance of one another irrespective of their differences. Love extincts divisions, and unites. Jesus Christ in love, overruled the differences between the Jews and Samaritans (John 4:5-42).
We may not be equal in background, status and the like, but with love, we can live together in peace, impact our society and keep it blessed. Our country, no matter the tribe, colour or language, can live together and grow if we encourage true love. Can’t we in love, overrule the differences in our homes, work places, Churches or fellowships? We must remember what Jesus did in our passage today to put an end to many years of rivalry between the Jews and the Samaritans.
PRAYER: Let the transformation come from you.