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Monday, 14 October 2019

Romans 14 : 1-12

None of us lives for himself [for his own benefit, but for the Lord], and none of us dies for himself [but for the Lord]. -Romans 14:7[AMP]

The Letter of Romans was written to people of the Church at Rome who were predominantly Gentiles (ie. people who come from other faiths other than the Jewish faith). Paul begins surveying the spiritual condition of all mankind - he finds both Jews and Gentiles alike to be sinners in need of Salvation. Salvation has been provided to mankind by God through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

When we become a new creation in Christ, we no longer live to please ourselves but to please our Lord. This is one of the first lessons we learn. We are no longer self-seekers, wanting to gratify our own desires. We learn to deny ourselves and try to please our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 16:24: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

We neither live to ourselves nor die to ourselves. We are not our own masters or owners—we are not at our own disposal to do what we want. Christ has the lordship in our lives and we willingly surrender to do what He would require of our lives. Galatians 2:20 NLT says, “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” 

We are also to glorify Him in all the actions and affairs of life. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The glory of Christ is our goal in whatever we do. Christ is the center of our lives, in which all the lines of our existence meet. Christ is all in all- whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s, devoted to him, dependent on him and designed for Him. We are hence exposed every day to a death of the self in order to glorify Christ in us. Even our physical death means to be departed and be with Christ- to be present with Him always as Paul says in Phil.1:21“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” –Christ is the gain we aim at, living and dying.

Christ is forever a living presence in a believer’s life- his life being lived under His constant gaze. There is no place where he can hide from His presence—living in the unseen presence of Christ. Since our lives are an open book before the Lord and “… each of us will give an account of ourselves to God” (Rom 14:12), how important it is for the believer to live a life pleasing to God!

Can we examine ourselves to see whether we live to please ourselves, or God? If we are self-pleasers, let us come in repentance to God and ask for His forgiveness. Ask Jesus to come and take the reign of your life so that you will live to please Him.

Thought for the Day:  
‘For in him [Christ] we live and move and have our being.’

Acts 17:28

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