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Bible Pathways - November 23, 2005

November 23

Read Romans 14

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 faults, failures 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 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).

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities (instabilities, moral weakness) of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification (build him up spiritually). For even Christ pleased not Himself (15:1-3). The greatest example of how we are to live our lives is Jesus Christ, who lovingly and 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 but even more for God's glory.

The "stronger" brother willingly put aside personal desires and prayerfully and lovingly considered how to encourage his weaker brother, without passing judgment; thus, he did not give Satan a foothold through dealing harshly or being indifferent.

When we allow Christ to be Lord of our lives, it results in our sincere, compassionate concern for others, not only for a weaker brother or sister in Christ but for the lost throughout the world. The Holy Spirit imparts discernment that causes us to have compassion for others and their situations. The admonition to bear the infirmities of others requires patience and involvement on the part of mature Christians.

While it is true that God judges sin and makes it clear that we must preach (proclaim) the Word; be instant in season, out of season (whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable), reprove (convince, correct), rebuke, exhort (encourage) with all longsuffering (patience) and doctrine (teaching) (II Timothy 4:2), our loving Lord is also saying: 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 another (John 13:35).

Word Studies:

14:1 not to doubtful disputations = not for passing judgment on his 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. Romans 16:20: See Genesis 3:15.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Brad & Michelle Donner · Staff: Gina Lesnefsky · Government Officials: Gov. Jim Doyle (WI), Sen. Mary Landrieu (LA), Rep. Bobby Rush (IL), and Sen. Charles Schumer (NY) · Country: Yemen (17 million) in southwestern Arabia · Major language: Arabic · Attempts to convert Muslims to Christ are fiercely opposed · 98% Muslim; .03% Christian (all secret believers) · Prayer Suggestion: Thank the Lord for hearing your prayers (Psalm 28:6-7).

Memory Verse for the Week: James 2:17

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