1 Corinthians 8:9 Be Careful With Your Rights

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9

Freedom to do what one wants, when he wants and how he wants is something that most people like or desire. Even in the most free nations of the world, there are still some regulations that control how much freedom a person really has.

It is commonly accepted that one is free, unless what he does causes harm to another person. Courts are often used to determine if that ‘harm’ was actually harmful or not.

After talking about eating meat that had been sacrificed to false idols, Paul tells the people to be careful on exercising their rights. He warns them to not allow their rights to become a stumbling block for others.

Although eating of meat sacrificed to idols is not a common problem in most of the world, there are other things that people do that can be of the same category.

One example may be with dancing. Some believers are strong against dancing for various reasons, other believers believe in dancing. Love and care should be taken by those who believe in dancing to not dance around those who are against it. To do so would be to cause the other person to stumble in his belief with God.

It may be better for a person to give up his rights, rather than cause confusion or stumbling. Some have walked away from God, because of all confusion of the different beliefs of what is right or wrong being shown to them.

Each and every believer must be willing to work out what he believes and why he believes it. Every belief must be held up in light of scripture. This will be a growth and learning process for each believer.

In your life there may be things that you believe are acceptable, that others do not agree with. Instead of demanding your way of belief upon others, let go of those things to build others up.

The base core of what one believes must be that one must believe in Jesus, repent of sins and follow God with all of his heart. Everything else may or may not be subjective and debatable.

Allow others to grow and learn, just as you are growing and learning in what it means to follow God with all of your life.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know how God wants you to live your life; that God will use you to build others up in His ways; that God will guide you in not being a stumbling block for others; and that your life will be an example of Jesus to others.

Matthew 26:41 How To Avoid Temptation

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matthew 26:41

Everyday millions of people are striving to lose weight. They put themselves on a strict diet to accomplish their goals. While they manage to follow the diet for a week or two, most often people give into temptation to eat things that they should not eat.

They are frustrated with themselves and feel as if they are a failure. Their mind was desiring to lose the weight, but their body was weak and gave in.

As Jesus was getting ready to go to the cross, He had the disciples pray with Him. He told them to keep watching and praying so that they will not fall into temptation, because the flesh is weak.

In the same way people are striving to lose weight, there are believers who are striving to stop sinning. Yet, everyday they fall to temptation to sin in some way or another.

Temptation is something that no one can completely avoid. It is always there working to trip up a believer and cause him to sin against God. Even though it is always there, one does not have to give in to the temptation.

The first thing a believer must do is be watching. He must keep his eyes open to things that will tempt him to sin. If he is not watching, he will not see it coming as temptation and will fall for it.

The other thing a believer must do is pray. This is talking and listening to God. Every believer must be in constant communication with God. Paul said to pray without ceasing. When a believer is talking and listening to God, he will not give in to temptations that come his way.

As with every believer, there are some temptations that you have to deal with. Satan is going to try and cause you to fall into sin against God. Refocus your attention upon God with being in constant prayer. Then allow the Holy Spirit to open your eyes so that you may watch and see when temptations come your way.

Every time that a temptation comes your way, God will make a way for you to escape it. You then have to make the choice as to whether to sin or not sin. The closer you are to God, the easier it will be to not fall into temptation.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be in constant communication with God; that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to the attacks of the enemy; and that God will strengthen you to turn away from sin.

Hebrews 7:18-19 A Better Hope

The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:18-19

Laws are something that is bitter-sweet for most people. The majority of people like the laws, because it shows them what is right and what is wrong. It gives them a guideline by which they expect others to live.

At the same time, many people hate the laws, because it also can restrict them from what they can and cannot do. Laws bind people up more than releases them from bondage.

The author of Hebrews points out the the old law was worthless in that it could not make a person perfect. Since it was worthless and failing, a better hope was introduced to allow man to get close to God.

Most people in the church like to know what God’s laws are. It gives them guidance as to how to live their lives. They want a checklist of what to do or not to do, so that they can see where they are succeeding or not succeeding in following God.

The challenge comes that with the more one knows the laws of God, the more he realizes that he cannot fulfill every one of them in his own power. He is constantly battling with failure to obey God’s laws and thus looks bad (in his eyes) before God.

God knew that this would happen, so He sent Jesus to provide the way to Him. Attempting to follow the law would produce failure, so Jesus came to fulfill the law and provide the much needed salvation and freedom from sin.

Following Jesus will allow the believer to take his focus off of sin and put it upon God.

You are probably struggling with sin as most believers are. You sin, repent, and then sin again are frustrated with yourself. Instead of focusing on following God’s law, focus on following Jesus and the way He lived. Do what He did and is doing, so that you will not have time to sin.

Live in the forgiveness that Jesus provides. Allow yourself to be guided by the Holy Spirit that Jesus sent to strengthen and help you.

As you rely upon what Jesus did for you, you will be able to draw closer to God, and flee further from sin.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will rely upon God’s grace for your life; that you will focus your life on following Jesus; that you will be led by God’s Holy Spirit; and that you will produce fruit in keeping with God’s commands.