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.
Today we’ll close the week out with reading from Phillips New Testament. As you do, ask God to speak to you, to bring anything to mind that He would have you deal with.
Don’t criticise each other’s convictions
“Welcome a man whose faith is weak, but not with the idea of arguing over his scruples. One man believes that he may eat anything, another man, without this strong conviction, is a vegetarian. The meat-eater should not despise the vegetarian, nor should the vegetarian condemn the meat-eater—they should reflect that God has accepted them both. After all, who are you to criticise the servant of somebody else? It is to his own master that he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is well able to make him do so.”
People are different—make allowances
“Again, one man thinks one day of more importance than others. Another man considers them all alike. Let every one be definite in his own convictions. If a man specially observes one particular day, he does so for the Lord’s sake. The man who eats, eats for the Lord’s sake, for he thanks God for the food. The man who fasts also does it for the Lord’s sake, for he thanks God for the benefits of fasting. The truth is that we neither live nor die as self-contained units. At every turn life links us to the Lord and when we die we come face to face with him. In life or death we are in the hands of the Lord. Christ lived and died that he might be the Lord in both life and death. Why, then, do you criticise your brother’s actions, why do you try to make him look small? We shall all be judged one day, not by each other’s standards or even by our own, but by the judgment of God. It is written: ‘As I live,’ saith the Lord, ‘to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God.’ It is to God alone that we shall have to answer for our actions.”
Take some time today to think back over the passage and reflect on the following questions from Tim Keller:
- Is your character one that tends to want to rule all matters as being disputable, or no matter as being disputable?
- Can you see any area in which you may be a weaker believer (to do so takes great self-awareness!)?
- If you can, how do these verses challenge you and change you?
*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.