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Thought for today: Wed.11/19
If YOU can’t HELP ME, don’t HINDER ME !
It is not our place to condemn and judge others. Galatians 6:10 instructs us as often as an occasioned opportunity opens up to us, we are to do good [morally] to all people; not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage. We aught to be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith; those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers.
We are to accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, (as illustrated in Scripture) if I believe my diet is acceptable for me, but another believer with a more sensitive conscience chooses a diet adequate for him/her. I aught not condemn my brother or sister for exercising a different diet no more than they should look down upon me for my diet.  God has accepted us all. Who are you to condemn the service of others? Only God can judge whether our service is acceptable; as did for Cain and Able. With our individual acts of faithfulness and with the Lord’s help, we will stand and receive His approval. In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do so genuinely to honor God . Those who eat any kind of food do so genuinely to honor the God, since they give thanks to God before eating. Alike, those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please God and give thanks to Him. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.  Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For the Scriptures admonish, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord , ‘every knee will bend  (bow) to me, and every tongue will declare (confess) allegiance to God. ’” Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church (body of believers) and try to build each other up. Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat (differing service). Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.  You may believe there’s nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.
Both strong and weak Christians can cause their brothers and sisters to stumble. The strong but insensitive Christian may flaunt his or her freedom and intentionally offend others’ consciences. The scrupulous but weak Christian may try to fence others in with petty rules and regulations, thus causing dissension. Paul wanted his readers to be both strong in the faith and sensitive to others’ needs. Because we are all strong in some areas and weak in others, we need constantly to monitor the effects of our behavior on others.
Reading for today:
Romans 14:13
*Do you condemn other believers?
*Do you look down on those whose service differs from your own?
*Do you do good/bless others when given the opportunity?

Posted by Rev. Bonita A. Benson