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.
“13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. 14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15 If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.”
It is not our role to judge others—it’s just not. It’s not our role to pronounce judgement for wrongdoing on things that are disputable, that’s God’s role. It’s just wrong because God has accepted all people who believe. We get nowhere by condemning people, especially fellow believers! Instead, what we need to do is no longer make it a habit of criticizing one another. If we’re going to judge anything, we probably need to stop judging others and make the simple judgement about our own actions and determine not make an obstacle or put a stumbling block in front of fellow believers. Honestly this would – by far – be the best thing we could do. Why? Well I’ll speak for myself; I have a hard enough time keeping up with myself! Keeping my own eyes and thoughts focused on Christ is hard enough, why would I want to be the “Junior Holy Spirit” to my brother? I guarantee they don’t want me taking on that role either. How much better would it be if I were just to love them with a Christ-like kind of love?
Honestly the good news about God’s Kingdom is that it’s not a matter of “doing”—the checklist approach, i.e. “I did this, so you do that”—but it’s one of righteousness, peace, and the joy of the Holy Spirit. To get locked up in disputable matters only works to move us away from the Kingdom of God as Paul described it here.
Love for God and people is the key to fully experiencing the Kingdom kind of life! It’s this Christ-like love that allows us to live in the liberty we have in Christ, while at the same time deferring from an activity as an act of love for a weaker believer. This is how we grow and help others to grow in our walk with Christ.
Take some time today and just think about the two different ways Paul tells us we can engage with people. What is the result of the two ways? Only one will benefit others… only one will allow you to experience the fullness of God’s Kingdom—a Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Which one will you choose today?
*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.