Day Sixty-Three: Written For Me

I was reading through Romans last week and I came across this chapter. I totally said to myself, “This chapter sounds like it was written for me!”

So I’ll go through this chapter and make comments in between each part of the scripture.

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.

Oooooo, apparently I have a “sensitive conscience”! Wow… sounds fancy. But I will say that my “sensitive conscience” is only “scheduled” to last a year!

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.

And even though I don’t right now “judge” or “condemn” people that don’t follow the same thing as me, I can see how as I lose weight more and more this might become a temptation for me. Since I do know that it is working and I do think that it is awesome. I am afraid that my zealousness to help someone else break free from their chains might be misconstrued as me glorifying myself or nay-saying their diet. When I know that it is not what I’m eating that is making the difference (although I do think that it is good stuff), but that God is changing my heart and mind.

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.

I love how this brings the focus back away from the food itself and to honoring God through my choices. It is a good reminder of what I am really doing… trying to honor God. Through my sacrifice and even just through allowing Him to be the one to “fix” me instead of relying upon myself. I don’t know… I think, based on reading through the Old Testament, that God really likes it when we attribute any of our abilities to Him.

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.

I lovvvvvvvvve this part: “If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord.” That sounds like it should be in a movie or something with some guy wearing war paint on his face (a la Braveheart)!  I just want to say that with my fist up in the air like in a power stance!

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.

Ouch. That’s not entirely a pleasant reminder, and yet it’s one that I have been thinking on a lot lately…

For the Scriptures say, “`As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, `every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise 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.

Good call… this is a good summary of how to change my heart… live in such a way that I will not cause another believer to stumble. That means that I must be gracious in my speech. gentle. kind. understanding.

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.

BAM! That’s the money right there… it is all about living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Amen and Amen!

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.

Again, what can I do to build up my brothers and sisters? Serve Christ with the attitude of living a life of goodness, peace, and joy.

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.

Ooooooo, this will be one to remember when the covenant is “over”: if you have doubts if you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. Eating what I know is wrong IS a sin. Point blank. As much as I don’t want that to be true… it is. Right there. In the Word. And sinning does not please God. Sinning does not get blessing. Sinning gets not-so-pretty consequences.

So, I think in summary, I’m going to go back to verse 17: 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. He says that is the matter of the Kingdom of God… I think I prefer to think about the Kingdom of God more than anything here on earth, like food. That is what I want my mind to move from… from food thoughts to Kingdom thoughts.

(Romans 14:1-23)

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