Love in your actions

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Prepare

‘Lord, thank you for giving up everything for me. Help me to follow your example more closely today than I did yesterday. Amen.’


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Bible passage Romans 14:13–23


 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. 16 Do 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, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.

 19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

 22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.



New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


Audio Bible passage


The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).


Explore the Bible


What is 'freedom'?
This section of Romans deals with times when the exercise of our freedoms may cause others difficulty. Just thinking kind thoughts isn’t enough, we need to change our actions, too, making every effort to help, protect and build up one another.

Again, this is an area where the Bible’s teaching is at odds with the values of our culture. Rather than clinging to our rights and entitlements, we should be willing to surrender them for the good of others.

Free to be loving
What might this look like? Cross-cultural missionaries often have to give up drinking alcohol or eating foods such as pork in order to reach those to whom God has called them. Women in ministry in the Middle East usually dress more conservatively than they would at home, and cover their heads in public.

They are free not to do these things, but they choose to give up those freedoms out of love for those they are serving.


Respond


What does this look like in your context? Are there things you do that make others uncomfortable or cause them difficulties? Are there traditions and practices you or your church may need to change in order to better love one another and reach your community?

Jennie Pollock


Deeper Bible study


‘For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ (Matthew 7:2)

Paul often responds in his letters to comments or questions that have been made by the recipients of his letters. This means that he balances arguments and adjudicates between them, first stressing this and then that. Reading him can be like listening to one end of a telephone conversation but not the other! As he continues his argument from the previous section, it seems that he wants to agree with the party that sees itself as strong in faith, but at the same time wants to show proper and loving concern for those they deem to be weak.

Paul is robustly positive. ‘Nothing is unclean in itself’ (v 14). What is good should not be spoken of as though it were evil (v 16). ‘All food is clean’ (v 20) – a healthy doctrine of a good creation. However, where people have scruples, perhaps because of past religious training, and think that something is unclean, they should not go against conscience (v 14). We all have to live with integrity, having thought carefully about what to believe and how to behave (v 22). People should neither be made to reject conscience nor forced out of the church because of an opinion: ‘Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food’ (v 20). After all, the kingdom of God is about ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (v 17), not about food (and we could add some other things here). Keep things in perspective! Don’t let third-order issues become a cause of division! Have your own views and opinions by all means, but don’t use them as weapons to hurt and destroy (v 22)!

Paul goes way beyond ‘tolerance’. In church, nobody should be made to stumble (v 21). Putting stumbling blocks and obstacles in the way of others is simply unacceptable (v 13).

Nigel Wright


Bible in a year


Read the Bible in a year.

Isaiah 15,16

Psalm 103
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The good news fund


Good News Fund

 

Financial support available for great mission ideas

If you’ve got a brilliant idea for reaching out to children and young people beyond your church but you need a little financial support to get it on the ground, we’ve got some good news for you!

The Scripture Union Good News Fund provides grants of up to £5,000 to help amazing mission ideas see the light of day, and we’re ready and waiting to receive your application!

For more information or to apply, visit:
www.scriptureunion.org.uk/goodnewsfund

Good News Fund

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Audio


I want to serve the purpose of God (In my generation)
Mark Altrogge
Copyright © 1982 People of Destiny International/Word Music
Buy this and other great worship songs at www.kingswayshop.com



Love rain down
Kat Regester
Copyright© 2010 Vineyard Song (UK/Eire)
Buy this and other great worship songs at www.vineyardrecords.co.uk




Comments
  • Rachael Hampton | Friday, 08 September 2017

    The readings, and the terrific comments and Scriptures shared have certainly spoken into our current situation. KATH, you spell it out so well. Praying with you RAY that you and we will make the main thing the main thing. Our church meeting tomorrow should take forward the question that has been giving me so much anguish. Thank you for your continuing prayers on this. Oh BARBARA, what wonderful news! I am so happy for you and praise God with you.

  • Jan Van Niekerk | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Jennie Pollock your examples & comments are very practical & and explains the issues well.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Nothing is unclean v14.It's how we use it. In Col 2:16-17, Paul said that these things were shadows of things to come. If I were walking toward you but the corner of a building blocked your view, then my shadow could be very significant. It could show you that I was coming and how close I was, but once I came around the corner and was in view, it would be unthinkable that you would fall down and embrace my shadow. My shadow is meaningful only because it represents me. Once you could talk to me, my shadow would be meaningless. Likewise, O T rituals were significant before Christ came. They illustrated truths that were not yet in full view. But now that Christ has come, the rituals are meaningless and can be oppressive if they are wrongfully thought to be requirements for acceptance by God.

  • Angela Munday | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    I think God is asking us today to be true to His Word and true to ourselves......"it is a matter between yourself and God." (Verse22) This passage of Scripture is talking of food that nourishes the body and we can choose how to behave and to be considerate of others around us. God has asked us to have faith in His goodness. We have chosen to live in His Kingdom; we love Him and know what pleases Him.

  • Rosemary Fairweather | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Kath thank you for your careful and considered comment yesterday. Matthew 7.2 in today's deeper study ‘For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ You put is so gently and beautifully Barbara that judgement is Gods. Years ago when I was searching and lost, it was a gay man with great humanity and love for Jesus, who pointed me on the path to Christ. As a result of that brother I still walk with Jesus today. God doesn't always work in the way we expect. Be surprised!

  • Rosemary Fairweather | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    What wonderful and exciting news Barbara. Prayers answered! I am delighted for you as I am sure are all your friends on WL. You make such wise contributions to the daily comments.

  • Tim Berry | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    PRAISE THE LORD BARBARA.I trust that your new home will be a blessing to you, your husband and many others. May Jesus reign supreme in every room.

  • Eileen Smith | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    So pleased to read of the Lord's provision for you-- an exciting time for you--God bless you & your husband in your new home

  • Eileen Smith | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Above message should have your name in of course BARBARA !!

  • Jane Hill | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    I have been meaning to update for a while now. You prompt me, Deborah, to do it. Thank you for remembering. My latest scan shows that cancer is everywhere with probability of a few months to live. I am surrounded by loving Christian friends and family as well as WLers.. I have so much to praise God for.Not least my sister, brought to faith last year who is being used by God in so many ways. Thank you all for your comments and prayers.

  • Eileen Smith | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Hugs JANE & assurance of continued praye

  • Eileen Smith | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Prayer

  • Shona McLennan | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Thinking of you and praying for you often, Jane. A big hug.

  • Rebecca Huie | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Dear Jane, you are on the receiving end of my fervent prayers. Lord bless and keep you in the palm of His hand. Much love to you.

  • Rebecca Huie | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Dear Jane, you are on the receiving end of my fervent prayers. Lord bless and keep you in the palm of His hand. Much love to you.

  • David Chipchase | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    I am praying for you, Jane, for positive outcomes and for the tangible presence of our Lord walking with you. May He bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you and give you his peace. Also, I praise God that your sister is now a sister both physically and spiritually.

  • David Chipchase | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Barbara, we have a great, wonderful and merciful God. I join you in praising Him.

  • Tim Berry | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Hi JANE, I'm praying for complete miraculous healing and every cancer cell to leave your body IN JESUS' NAME. AMEN.

  • Linda Penrose | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Praying JANE and rejoicing BARBARA. God bless you all WLvers

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    Praising the Lord with you JANE for your positive response and BARBARA too, His timing is perfect.

  • Iyanuoluwa Fanimokun | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    It is only through the help of the holy spirit,that is how we can be like Christ.the holy spirit will help us not to judge because we ain't the maker of the law n we ain't perfect as well.

  • Iyanuoluwa Fanimokun | Saturday, 09 September 2017

    It is only through the help of the holy spirit,that is how we can be like Christ.the holy spirit will help us not to judge because we ain't the maker of the law n we ain't perfect as well.

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