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Bible Pathways - Nov. 23, 2008


November 23

Romans 14

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Christian relationships described (14:7-11). Conduct for Christians: (1) Conviction (14:5); (2) Conscience (14:22); Consideration (15:1-2). Relationship of Jewish and Gentile believers (15:4-13). Paul, God's minister to the Gentiles (15:15-16). Mutual love and affection between Christians (Chapter 16).

The Christian who has received Christ as Lord of his life will not be content with living merely to satisfy self. To live for the glory of God and the salvation of others are much more important to him than his own interests and pleasure.

None of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living (14:7-9). Since we are Christ's property, it needs to be repeated often that none of us is to live only for himself, for we were created in Christ Jesus unto good works (Ephesians 2:10).

Even Christ, in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9), pleased not Himself (Romans 15:3). For the sake of others He came into the world; for others He lived; for others He prayed; for others He wept; for others He died; for others He rose; for others He intercedes at the right hand of the Father; and for others He will come again!

How diametrically opposed this is to the self-centered philosophy of the world.

Some of us who are stronger will have much to answer for — such as the heartbreak or dismay in a weaker one when a word of kindness from us would have been so helpful. Do not pass anyone by because Christ never did. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way (14:13).

For all eternity we shall thank God that through the Holy Spirit we had the strength to forgo what would have pleased ourselves so that we might take the initiative and bear the infirmities of a weaker brother and thus help him gain victory in his spiritual life in order to win his crown of life (James 1:12).

Now the God of patience and consolation 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. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God (Romans 15:5-7).

Thought for Today:

Jesus, our Lord, washed His disciples' feet. He taught us that we are to be servants to one another. If you want to rule, you must first learn that the purpose of ruling is to serve.

Word Studies:

14:1 not to doubtful disputations =b> not for passing judgment on his questionable opinions; 16:2 succourer =b> 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 Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts for the week sponsored by Derek S. Ronnie • Government Officials: Gov. Jim Doyle (WI), Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL), and Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) • Country: North Korea (22.2 million) in northeastern Asia • Major language: Korean • Violent oppression against all religions • 68% atheist; 15% Ch'ondogyo; 14% Other Traditional; 2% Buddhist; 1% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Begin every day with prayer (Psa. 88:13).

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:28

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