SUNDAY 3rd FEBRUARY, 2019
THEME: LIVE TO LIFT OTHERS
PASSAGE: ROM. 14:13-23
13. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 14. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16. Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Today’s passage enlightens believers in Christ about our right to eat whatever we choose either from rice to beans, fish to chicken, ‘gari’ to ‘fufu’, fruit drinks to wine, and so on. However, in whatever we choose to eat or drink, the righteousness of God must be acknowledged.
Although what we choose to eat must be good, healthwise, but whether you eat pork or snake it must not be seen as commission of sin. In the Old Testament, there were two classes of foods: clean and unclean ones. Those that were termed ‘unclean’ were considered as forbidden for those who claimed to be holy (Lev. 22:8-9). However, in the New Testament, foods considered in the Old Testament as unclean have been declared clean and the right understanding about it inculcated. All we need do is that whatever we eat or drink should be done to avoid making others to fall (Rom. 14:13).
When you do things that could mislead younger believers to err, you sin against God. When you don’t care what you do or whoever stumbles at what you do, you become a snare to others around you. God expects us to be our brother’s keeper or lifter. We should not be the cause of their down fall or demotion
We are therefore enjoined to do and teach one another things that will edify and promote godliness and not to please ourselves. This act of self-control does not stop with food but also extends to what we wear, say, or allow. Check again, what are the things you have done or allowed that have the tendency to make others fall or be discouraged about the Christian faith? Exercise restraint and seek to do things that will build up rather than things that will pull others down.
HYMN: EMHB 336
1: IN loving-kindness Jesus came,
My soul in mercy to reclaim,
And from the depths of sin and shame
Through grace He lifted me.
From sinking sand He lifted me;
With tender hand He lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
O praise His Name, He lifted me!
2: He called me long before I heard,
Before my sinful heart was stirred;
But when I took Him at His word,
Forgiven, He lifted me.
3: His brow was pierced with many a thorn,
His hands by cruel nails were torn,
When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
In love He lifted me.
4: Now on a higher plane I dwell,
And with my soul I know ’tis well;
Yet how or why, I cannot tell,
He should have lifted me.
MEMORY VERSE: Romans 14:20 “Don’t tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, there is nothing wrong with these things in themselves. But it is wrong to eat anything if it makes another person stumble.”
PRAYER: Everlasting God, by Your power, make me a channel of promotion for others and lift me up, too, for pray in Jesus’ name.