“Every knee will bow before me” (11). Father, it’s hard to bow before You while I am watching and judging others.
Read Romans 14:1-12
 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.  One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.  The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.  Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.  One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.  Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.  For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.  If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.  You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'”  So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is Paul's attitude regarding judging others?
Romans 14:2 is a great example of how a bit of cultural context can be essential for understanding the Bible, because on the surface it says vegetarians are spiritually weaker than carnivores! It makes more sense when we realize that much of the meat sold in Roman markets was what was left over from idol sacrifices. This was a particularly sensitive issue for those Christians who had converted from paganism and wanted to make a clean break with their past. While the details of today’s reading may need a bit of unpacking, the overall message is pure common sense: each of us needs to live to please God as best as we know how (6,7). And while we might feel we have got everything right, we have no business laying down the law for other people (4). We need to encourage each other to grow in faith; criticism and judgment tend to be counterproductive.
It can be easy to look at new Christians and judge them for how they differ from us. But what am I doing to encourage them in their faith?
Father, continue Your work in me. Only You can enable me to grow in holiness and humility and reflect You to others.
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