Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Invest patience and love

“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”

Romans 14:1

Rational notions are directed at the mind, individual representations of our views. The Greek philosopher Epictetus said: Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things.” For Christians, the Word of God in the Bible, takes priority. This is certain, because it is complete in His presence, dynamic and truth. It is the Spirit who is behind the Word, who leads us unto all truth. Luther chose, in his translation, not to quarrel over notions, so as not to confuse the conscience. Christians, who have knowledge and experience and are trained in the Word of God, mostly also stand firm in their faith and also portray this. They will equally not be “carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). Whoever stands firm, also maybe have the tendency to tell other Christians that they are wrong and sometimes simply don't or don't want to see some things clearly. Even if it were true, it gives rise to abundant potential to argue notions. I think the appeal in Romans is mostly for those who are spiritually stable, rather than for those who are weak (emotionally). Strong in a Biblical sense, is when the freedom and grace of the Gospel has found a foothold in one's very soul and one has gained a deep sense of peace before God. Whoever knows what he has been redeemed of, normally also has no lasting problem with enduring many hardships in life, and bearing many infirmities of others in love, and still being joyful. Some still lack this. To have spiritual strength, even in the face of many tribulations, is the result of experience and maturity through God's grace (see Paul). Whoever has more, more will be expected of him – Luke 12:48 “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” It can very easily happen, that even responsible brethren, who are overly argumentative, set things in motion that they didn't really want to – but afterwards accept. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-11)

There are certain things in the life of faith, which some groups see different and have, in accordance with their priorities, given more binding principles to some Biblical statements than to others. With some it is spiritual gifts, with others the baptism or the Sabbath (day of rest) or the Church structure etc. Some discussions are certainly necessary and also needed. But, some are not. There are spiritually unhealthy points, for example when some prioritize the law more than grace or when tithing is more important than the tither, or when the Gospel is not the scarlet thread in every sermon. When someone uses his knowledge to profit himself rather than for the edification of others and exhortation in love, he possesses the tendency towards pride. He esteems himself above others. (Philippians 2:3-4: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”) We must always asks ourselves the question – more so then, when we ourselves are not new to the faith. The enemy does not sleep. Because Satan knows that he cannot rob us of our salvation, he will endeavour to make us proud and stand-offish. Knowledge without love makes us conceited and heartless. We have no reason to be conceited. When we have received grace, where others are still in the dark, and as such we should be compassionate and patience and accept and tolerate others (weak Christians). In 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 we read: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (Jeremiah 9:22-24: “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord”) God's power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We are all the same before God, but some are weaker than weak, and we should help them by investing patience and love – as Jesus would do.

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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