Read Romans 14
Dangers of criticism; don't condemn others (Rom. 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). Christians in one area took up a collection for believers in need (15:26-28).
Not one person in history, except Jesus, has lived without sinning. Since we do not know the hearts of anyone, 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 (Rom. 14:4).
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities (imperfections) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification (spiritual development). For even Christ pleased not Himself (15:1-3). The perfect example of how we are to live our lives is Jesus Christ, who unselfishly took all our sins upon Himself, suffering insult, persecution, and a cruel physical death on the cross for our sakes. His personal sacrifice demonstrated the Christian way to deal with people for their good and for the glory of God.
The "stronger" brother will willingly put aside his personal desires and lovingly consider how to strengthen his "weaker" brother without passing judgment, so as not to give Satan a foothold through a critical spirit or self-righteousness.
When we allow Christ to be Lord of our lives, it results in a sincere, compassionate concern for others, not only for a weaker brother or sister in Christ, but for the lost as well. Spiritual discernment leads us to be understanding of others and their situations. The admonition to bear the infirmities of others requires compassion on the part of mature Christians, making ourselves available to help others.
While it is true that God judges sin but makes it clear that pastors and church leaders must reprove (correct), rebuke, exhort (encourage) with all longsuffering (expressing Christ's love) and doctrine (teaching) (II Tim. 4:2), our loving Lord is also saying to those who represent Him: Be . . . merciful, as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:36). By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to (for) another (John 13:35).
Thought for Today:
The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jer. 31:3).
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 honor of Rick Hash • Staff: Dan Murton • Government Officials: Gov. Jim Doyle (WI), Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL), and Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) • Country: Jamaica (3 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: English and Creole • Religious freedom • 78% Protestant; 10% Roman Catholic; 7% Afro-American spiritist • Prayer Suggestion: Diligently seek the guidance of the Lord (Prov. 8:17).
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 5