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Bible Pathways 11/23/04

November 23

Read Romans 14 - 16

In Today's Reading:

Law of love concerning doubtful things; Jewish and Gentile believers share the same salvation; Paul's desire to visit Rome; personal greeting

Even now, Christ is making intercession on our behalf because of our weaknesses and temptations (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 16:25-27).

Not one person in history, except Jesus, has lived without sin. Since we do not know the heart of anyone, we are warned: Who are you that judges another man's servant? to his own master he stands or falls. Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand (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 neighbor for his good to edification (being built up). For even Christ pleased not Himself (15:1-3). The greatest 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 sake. His personal sacrifice demonstrated the Christian way to deal with people for their good and God's glory.

The "stronger" brother will willingly put aside his personal desires and lovingly consider how to strengthen his weaker brother, without passing judgment, and thus give Satan a foothold through division 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 and active involvement on the part of mature Christians.

While it is true that God judges sin and makes it clear that we must reprove, rebuke, exhort (encourage) with all long-suffering and doctrine (teaching) (II Timothy 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 you are My disciples, if you have love one to (for) another (John 13:35).

Word Studies:

14:1 not to doubtful disputations = not for passing judgment, questionable opinions; 16:2 succourer = helper, defender.

Cross References:

For Romans 14:11: See Isaiah 45:23. Romans 15:3: See Psalm 69:9. Romans 15:9: See Psalm 18:49. Romans 15:10: See Deuteronomy 32:43. Romans 15:11: See Psalm 117:1. Romans 15:12: See Isaiah 11:1,10. Romans 15:21: See Isaiah 52:15.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · BP Staff: Ilene Wallace · Government Officials: Rep. Chris Bell (TX), Gov. Jim Doyle (WI), Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL), and Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) · Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America · Major languages: Spanish and Quechua · Religious freedom · 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i · Prayer Suggestion: Trust in the Lord: where He guides, He provides (Psalm 16:1-8).

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 4:17

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