April 11 2021
Today, Sunday April 11
God’s Welcomes and Keeps Us
Romans 14:3-4 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
In this passage the Apostle Paul is giving the church some very practical instructions on how to get along with each other despite our cultural, social, ethnical, and personal differences. It’s amazing how it only takes one person to gossip, to judge, to criticize and to stir up a mess in the church. I’m afraid that there is no way to avoid them. Every church seems to have several of these people.
And the truth is, they are not the real problem. The real problem is that, we often don’t have the wisdom and the courage to respond to them in a scriptural way! Well, that’s what this passage from Romans 14:1 to 15:7 is about!
Paul gives three admonitions to the believers there in Rome in dealing with the difference of opinions when it came to what to eat, or not eat, and holy days. He told them first to “welcome or receive one another” (14:1-2). Next, to “edify one another” (14:13-23). And then to “please one another (15:1-7).
He reminds the believers that despite their differences we should not judge or criticize one another because: God has received and welcomed us and that He also keeps and sustains us (vs. 1-4).
Today, we can either be problem makers or we can chose to be problem solvers in our families and other relationships in our church, work place and in our community.
Every church, every home, every work place has a “culture” within it. Some are good and some are toxic and destructive. It is not our responsibility to change the culture but it is our opportunity to influence it by responding to the difficulties and issues in it by responding with God’s wisdom found in His Word.
Let me finish this devotion with these verses from James 3:13-18 “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”