One person believes she is free to have a glass of wine with dinner. Another believes it is a sin. One believes it is OK to eat pork. Another believes the Old Testament dietary laws should still be adhered to. One believes a certain book, or movie, or TV show is allowable; another’s conscience is offended by it. One thinks “Christian contemporary music” is great, another believes worship has to be hymns.
Certainly, there are lifestyle choices which are clearly right and wrong, sinful and good, but there is also a great deal of freedom in Christ. Whatever we do, however, we need to be able to do it in faith:
But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin (v. 23).
Even if something is not sinful, in and of itself, if we believe it is and do it anyway, it reveals a heart that is willing to sin against God and is, therefore, sinful.
One of the key points in this chapter, though, is that we should be willing to forego things we believe we are free to do, if what we are doing could be offensive or a stumbling block to someone else (14.13). Love considers the welfare of others above his or her own (Phil. 2.3-4).
In chapter 21 Job tried to convince his friends that their conclusion about his suffering was wrong. He reasoned that because the wicked are not always punished in this life, they couldn’t say good is always rewarded and evil always punished. He pointed out that, at times, even people who shake their fist at God seem to do so with impunity. Continue reading →
Is there really one verse that could change your marriage forever? Could it change other relationships, as well? I believe there is!
First, let me say that knowing this verse won’t change your marriage. Even memorizing this verse won’t change your marriage. Using it like a club over your mate, definitely, won’t change your marriage … not even praying it will do it!
Don’t misunderstand me. I believe in praying the Scriptures and this verse (actually two verses to be more precise) would be a great passage to pray for your marriage and other relationships, but it can’t stop there.
And I believe it’s important to know the Word of God. The Scriptures were given by God, in part, to teach us how to have good relationships, beginning with our relationship with God Himself.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3.16-17, NASB)
It not only teaches us, but it reproves us … shows us where we’re going wrong, corrects us … shows us how to get it right, and trains us so we can make godly living a lifestyle.
I, also, believe this would be a great verse to share with your spouse as something the two of you could work on together, though, we need to be sure we’re taking the logs out of our own eyes before we try to tell someone else where they’re going wrong (Matt. 7.3-5).
I believe in memorizing Scripture. Psalm 119.11 says, “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.” Continue reading →
Nehemiah and the people continued to rebuild the wall, but not without opposition. Nehemiah’s response was the same one we should have when we encounter problems. Chapter 4, verses 8-9:
“… and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. Nevertheless we made our prayer to our God, and because of them we set a watch against them day and night.”
Nehemiah and the people prayed, did what they believed God wanted them to, and left the rest in the hands of God!
Chapter 5 changes focus and talks about problems among the people themselves. Some of the Jews had taken advantage of the hard economic times and had charged high rates of interest and even taken as some of the other Jews as slaves to repay their debts. This was forbidden by the law. God takes a very serious view of this kind of behavior and Nehemiah dealt with it accordingly. Verses 11-13: Continue reading →
The consequences of favoritism, selfishness, & deception
Isaac was now 137 years old, blind, and facing his own mortality. Perhaps he was sick since Esau also expected him to die soon (27.41). As the story continues we will see that he actually lives forty-three years longer. Jacob and Esau were not exactly kids either. They were 77 years old!
Isaac planned to give a final blessing to Esau, his favored son, in opposition to God’s declared will (Gen. 25.23). When the scandal of Jacob’s deception was revealed, it says, “Isaac trembled exceedingly,” perhaps over what Jacob had done Continue reading →