Romans 14:19 Working To Build Up

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

During the time of Paul there was a lot of food being sold as food that had been sacrificed to some god. The devoted Israelites would refuse to eat the food that had been sacrificed since it was not meat offered to God. In the verses prior to this one, he talks about how all meat or anything else can be clean but to not do anything to cause someone to fall. Now he states that one should strive to do what builds others up.

Over time there have been people in the church who stand very strongly against certain things or acts that are in reality neutral with the Bible. One example was in playing cards. For many years, most churches were against cards because of the common place of gambling that was associated with playing them.

Paul is stating here that if someone is against playing cards, then do not do it around that person, even if you do not feel it is a wrong act to do. You are to strive to build the person up, not condemn them or try to change them.

This is not a free license to sin. When there is direct sin in a person’s life, it is another believer’s responsibility to warn them about it.

The best choice to do with every person is to point them to Jesus and show them His love, grace and mercy. It is possible God is still working in their lives to change them, but it will take time and it is one thing at a time. Do not fight against the person, but build them up in Jesus.

Too often, people push their freedom and do it anyways, causing hurt, pain, and confusion. Be the example of love around them. If they do not do something, don’t do it around them, even though you may have the freedom to do so.

It is important that you are living your own life in the way God has revealed to you. Be the light in this world. Be willing to sacrifice your rights to build someone else up.

I pray today that God will guide you in how to live your life; that you will not enforce your freedom on to someone else; that you will build others up; and that you will strive to live at peace with others while living for God.

Romans 6:16 Who Are You A Slave To?

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey–whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16

In America, and nearly all the rest of the world, slavery is looked down upon as a bad thing. People like their freedom to do what they want, when they want. Not all people believe in chaos, but all love their freedom.

Paul points out something that is very interesting. Whoever you obey, you are a slave to. This is saying that you are slave, whether you like it or not. The question comes down to who are you a slave to?

As a normal human being you start out being a slave to sin. You obey the evil desires in your heart and mind that the world puts there.

Now many will say that they are not evil. The number one sin that almost every person has to deal with is selfishness. They want to do their own thing and not what God wants. This also brings in the sin of pride. This makes a person evil. You are then a slave to sin.

All of this brings a person to a point of death. There is no life in being a slave to sin, self, and the devil.

When a person comes to Jesus, he is to change is allegiance to Him. He is now a slave to God.

As a believer in Jesus, you are to obey Him in everything. Paul pointed out that whoever you obey, you are a slave to. You lose your personal rights in following Jesus. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will obey Him. You will become His slave.

In reality, you never had any real personal rights, other than the personal right to follow either the devil or Jesus. You either follow the ways of the devil and sin, or you follow the ways of God and His righteousness.

Who are you going to follow today?

Who will you be a slave to?

Who will be your master?

As Joshua had stated, choose this day whom you will serve.

I pray today that you will choose to serve Jesus; that you will no longer be a slave to sin; that you will choose to be a slave to Jesus; that you will turn away from sin; and that you will tell others about Jesus.