Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
We might not know what the specific divisions between the two different groups were, but it was obvious to Paul and his readers. “Considering one day more sacred than another” gives us a clue to what one division was.
I think it is safe to say that there was considerable diversity in the early church. Some believers regarded certain days as more sacred than others. Old Testament law had declared that feast days were consecrated to God in a special way. The Sabbath, for instance, had its own set of regulations. Other believers, however, regarded all days alike. After all, all life belongs to God and every day offers unique opportunities for worship and service. In regard to “special days”, it seems that Paul would have thought of this as a disputable matter.
More important to Paul was that whatever way a person came down on the issue, each person must be fully persuaded in his own mind. What the other person does is a matter of that person’s conscience. Believers must be convinced for themselves whether or not to regard some days as more sacred than others. Those who observe special days do it to honor the Lord (v. 6). Those who eat meat do it in honor of the Lord. They give thanks to the Lord; they bless the Lord for the provisions He supplies! At the same time, those who abstain from eating meat also do it in honor of the Lord. They too give thanks to the Lord. What’s the prevailing theme? To honor the Lord! There is no difference in their motivation. Both conduct themselves in such a way as to please their Master. This is how we’re to operate as the body…we’re to live by our own convictions when it comes to disputable matters, not by convictions of others, which causes division and strife.
How so? The problem comes into play when we do things because we’re taking on others’ convictions and we’re not fully convinced it’s the right thing to do. It’s really not a good place to be; it leads to us being bounced around.
I’ll give you a personal example. For years after becoming a Christian, I bounced around on whether or not to let my kids participate in Halloween. I’d hear one group say, “That’s the devil’s day!” So, I’d have my kids sit out that year and feel guilty as they moped around because I didn’t let them go trick or treating. Or, I would let the kids go, but I’d feel like I was a hypocrite; I’d feel like I was sneaking around. Oh, how foolish I was! You see, I was taking on people’s personal convictions and making them to be like biblical convictions. We can’t do that.
I’m happy to tell you that I have developed a personal conviction on Halloween. At the basis of that conviction is glorifying God.
Think about the things you do on a day-to-day basis. How many of them would fall into the ‘disputable matters’ category? Of those, are you fully convinced you’re doing what you need to be doing? Have you taken on other people’s personal convictions as biblical convictions?
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest. Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding, for leading (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.