Highlights In Today's Reading:
Dangers of criticism; don't condemn other Christians (chap. 14). Live in harmony, giving praise and glory to the Lord (15:1-6). Paul's ambition should also be part of ours (15:20-21). Believers in one area took up a collection for believers in another area (15:26-28).
Paul describes some Christians as weak in the faith (14:1). These dear ones have areas of immaturity in their spiritual growth. Since we cannot know one another's hearts, we are warned: Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand (14:4).
However, we do have spiritual obligations to them. We then that are strong (in our faith) ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us (seek to) please his neighbor for his good to edification (to encourage rather than criticize). For even Christ pleased not Himself (15:1-3).
It is amazing that the eternal Creator, who is Christ the Son of God, pleased not Himself. It was for others that He lived, prayed, wept, and died on the cross for our sins and will come again. Even now, Christ is making intercession for us (Heb. 7:25).
Those who allow Christ to be Lord of their lives will show compassionate concern for others and work to bring about a spirit of unity and harmony among all. The God of patience and consolation (Source of all encouragement) grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 15:5-6).
This unity has always been the plan of God for His people. We can be a blessing just by being understanding, having a listening ear, and praying with and for those who need our patience and compassion.
Yes, we are to recognize sin as destructive, deadly, and detestable to God. We should oppose obvious evils, and yet have the compassion of Christ for the one who is caught up in Satan's grip. Consequently, we should, with the love of Christ, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine (no compromising biblical truth) (II Tim. 4:2).
Thank the Lord we are not the judges of our fellow Christians: Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (I Sam. 16:7).
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:36).
Thought for Today:
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity (Ps. 133:1).
14:1 not to doubtful disputations =not for passing judgment on his questionable opinions; 16:2 succourer =helper, defender.
For Rom. 14:11: See Is. 45:23. Rom. 15:3: See Ps. 69:9. Rom. 15:9: See Ps. 18:49. Rom. 15:10: See Deut. 32:43. Rom. 15:11: See Ps. 117:1. Rom. 15:12: See Is. 11:1,10. Rom. 15:21: See Is. 52:15.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Officials: Gov. Jim Doyle (WI), Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL), and Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) • Country: Maldives (300,000) 400 miles southwest of Sri Lanka • Major languages: Divehi and English • Christian witnessing is banned • 99.9% Muslim; .1% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: In times of trouble, pray and seek comfort in the Word of God (Ps. 119:50).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:27