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‘Accept other believers who are weak in faith.’ Romans 14:1 NLT

During the first century cities like Rome attracted people from many different cultures and customs. Consequently the early church’s mission to ‘make disciples of all the nations’ (Matthew 28:19 NLT) sometimes led to conflict and confusion. For example, some believers continued to observe a seventh-day Sabbath. Others wanted to remain vegetarians in case the meat on their plate had been sacrificed to idols. It’s the reason Paul wrote, ‘Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.’

Note, he didn’t tell us to tolerate them, but to ‘accept’, welcome, receive, and make allowance for those who aren’t carbon copies of us. Even though the issues we deal with nowadays are different from those of the early church, it’s easy to become divisive and judgmental. But remember, ‘Each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble.’ (Romans 14:12–13 NLT)

When legitimate differences arise on fundamental issues, behave in a Christ-like way without criticising or looking down on people. Satan’s goal is to sidetrack us into splitting hairs while God’s kingdom suffers. Instead, ‘Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.’ (Romans 12:10 NIV) Learn to respect your fellow believers because of Whose they are! Paul writes, ‘May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify… God.’ (Romans 15:5–6 NIV)

SoulFood: 1 Ki 21–22, Mark 10:1–12, Ps 82, Pro 12:18–19

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

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