The Big Picture
Almighty God, I praise You that You indwell me by Your Spirit. Show me new ways to bring others to You.
Read Romans 14:13-23
 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.  I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.  If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.  Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil.  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,  because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.  Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.  Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.  It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.  So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.  But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. 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.
ReflectHow can our eating practices endanger another's faith?
When I was 19 I spent eight months in Zimbabwe, and for some of that time I worked on AIDS awareness with a mission agency. I was surprised to discover that the Christians I worked with not only believed that as a Christian you had to be a teetotaler, but they also believed that Christians should not go anyplace where anyone was drinking. Yet in my homeland, Christians from a variety of churches took a different view. Such issues can be confusing for new Christians. Paul cuts through the legalistic ins and outs of the issues faced by the early church with some enduring principles, because he is concerned that the body of Christ be united and that younger Christians be encouraged to grow. He states: • It is more important to love than to be correct (15). • Don’t nitpick over the small stuff; focus on the bigger picture of righteousness, peace and joy (17). • Behave in a way that won’t undermine anyone else’s spiritual growth, even if it means sacrificing some of your freedoms (21).
Consider the stances you have taken on some issues of Christian discipleship. Have they built up or torn down others’ faith?
Lord Jesus, continue Your work in me by Your Holy Spirit. May I grow in ways that reflect Your love for me.
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