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Bible Reading

“13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good 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 receives human approval.”
Romans 14:13-18

Introduction

The major theme of Paul’s letter to the Romans is the righteousness of God. Our passage for today is from a portion of the letter where Paul is speaking on the righteousness of God revealed through the transformed living of believers. Specifically in chapter 14, Paul discusses how our transformed living, through Christ, impacts our relationships with other people and other believers. At the beginning of chapter 14, Paul warns against judging other Christians and their journey with the Lord. Then in verse 13, where we find our scripture for today, Paul writes specifically about our need to evaluate our own lives and actions and how they impact other believers.

Prayer

Holy Spirit, I ask today that You would give me a fresh perspective on this passage today as I study. Search me and know me and see what in me is not from you, God. I want to become more like You. Speak to me as only You can.

Questions from today’s reading:

  • Why did Paul tell the Romans to stop passing judgment on one another? (see 14:1-2)
  • How much power lies in us living to not cause other Christians to stumble?
    • What was the reason Paul wrote this to the Christians in Rome?
  • What does Paul say we are lacking if we knowingly cause distress to a fellow Christian by how we are living?
  • In whom is righteousness, peace, and joy found?

Applications from today’s reading:

  • In Romans 14, Paul is writing on the difference in personal convictions, our need to not judge others, and how it correlates to examining our actions and desires.
    • Have you ever judged another Christian for living or doing something you believed was wrong? Has it ever happened to you?
    • What impact did either of these scenarios have on you?
  • We need to understand there is a major difference between a personal conviction and being okay with sin.
  • We should never exercise our freedom or liberty in Christ (personal conviction) to the point it hinders another Christian.
    • Ask the Lord to show you if there is any area of your life in which you may be causing others to stumble.
  • The power of the breastplate of righteousness (right living) is that it protects us from being a stumbling block or hindrance to other believers.
    • This leads to peace and joy, and a life lived out in love for each other.

Prayer

God, thank You for what You are revealing to me about the power of right living. I ask that You help me to be a Christian whose lifestyle and actions point to you and not distract from You. I ask that You help me to be a gracious person who does not judge others but sees each person with the love and grace that You have for them. Help me to wear the breastplate of righteousness today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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