Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Romans 14 : 13-23
“…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” -Romans 14:17
The Apostle Paul deals with accepting the brethren in the Lord, being supportive to the weaker in faith so that they are built up and not put down. In matters of things which are not of much importance like observing days, eating particular kinds of food, Paul tells us not to behave towards others in a manner that their faith in God is affected. A believer is not to become a stumbling block to another.
The Bible tells us, “The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1). Hence we are not our own but we belong to Him- His property! “For not one of us lives for himself,…. whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” (Romans 14:7-8). The totality of our being- the very breath in us, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we build- the Lord is our Provider and Sustainer! Since He owns the earth and everything in it— we are to consider the rest of His creation including the entire humanity, made in His image, as His, whether of different geographical locations, religious belief, cultural upbringing, etc. This calls for our respect to all.
One man’s faith allows him to eat one thing and consider it delicious and palatable; while another will consider it unacceptable, unwanted and unclean. Does that mean those who eat such food do not belong to God and they that do not eat belong to him? Not at all! Whether we eat or not, we are entirely the Lord’s property. If our eating of a particular food may have the potential to destroy the faith of our brother or sister, then it’s important for us to put a check to this particular freedom of which God holds nothing against us. Not because it is sinful to eat it, but because we value our brother or sister who are valuable assets of the Lord, more than the exercise of our freedom of eating.
'If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you decide to go, eat what is set before you, without asking any questions because of your conscience, but if someone tells you, "This food was offered to idols," then do not eat that food, for the sake of the one who told you and for conscience' sake.' (1 Corinthians 10:27-28)
In as much as it is important to interact, make friends and relate with all humans regardless of religious belief, tribe or nationality, yet we have to be very cautious in how we interact. If we are invited by an unbeliever friend as stated in the Scripture, it’s well and good to go and express the love of Christ, since they too matter to God and belong to Him. But if it is made clear that the food was offered to idols before we eat, then we need to exercise godly wisdom how to act! We are cautioned 1 Corinthians10:19-21 to not to partake in the table of demons, referring to food offered to idols.
The believer has to keep in mind this fact always: “…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom 14:17). We need to pursue righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! Being a saved, sanctified, transformed person in Christ. Let us get rid of our inhibitions and be concerned in building God’s Kingdom and building our brothers and sisters in His Kingdom!
"LORD Jesus, make me an instrument of
Your divine grace that I may be considerate to my
brethren and help build them up in You.”
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