Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

For nation and country?

“For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”

Galatians 1:10
 

Since people existed, opinions have existed. And I am of the impression that, the longer the earth rotates, the more opinions there will be. Also amongst Christians. Discussing various Biblical topics, having opinions and communicating them as Christians, is not wrong or fundamentally incorrect. It can even be very productive. One can (is allowed to) disagree with each other from time to time. Certainly one should, when doing so, observe certain rules and measures of respectfulness. However, it is wrong and unjust, as interpreted by some, to view someone as an unloving, heartless person who wants to force his opinion onto others, after every consequent thought, every clear word and every personal understanding of faith-logic expressed by the person. Expressing one's opinion is not forbidden. We read in Romans 14:4-6 “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.” This is often very difficult for us and our own hypersensitivity seems to be the over all factor by which we measure truth or lies – completely off the mark. There are also people who accuse Paul of being anti-feminist because he said things which one can maybe interpret as such? One can accuse Jeremiah of always seeing everything in a negative light, Peter of having a big mouth and (in theory) Jesus of great-grandeur and loss of reality because He spoke in parables and saw Himself as King. But is it just and indeed so? Is it not rather my superficial and slanted view, which often causes me to see something as through blurred vision? And when you point this out to someone, it is considered as a personal attack. Do we see how proud and rebellious we are still? To speak of love and act accordingly (also written words are deeds) is not a matter of feigned friendliness. One can use harsh words and sometimes convey more love in this manner as many a nice word from a superficial spirit. And why? Because one is honestly concerned and actually see a person and not merely his opinion! Do we see how far off the mark we sometimes are from having a meek and humble spirit (Matthew 11:29)?

Is it justified, selfless and clever, to always immediately retaliate loudly and demand love and consideration, even though we ourselves have none (or little)? Or because the opinions of others don't suit me? It has nothing to do with “a fluttering deep within me” but with the truth and how I deal with it – me personally. The Apostle Paul did not want to (despite his authority) educate and lead his fellow Christians to pious nods of agreement – quite the opposite. However, through his personal faith, he did not permit himself to be led to proclaim anything but the truth revealed to him by God's Holy Spirit, to other Christians (or unbelievers) not being led through human sympathy, nor by any other aversions. In his service, he was not bound by opinion polls, nor did he make use of a mood barometer to prevent himself from saying anything that could possibly have a negative effect or offend someone. Paul did not concern himself with partiality, but only with the truth and God's will. Now we can state and object that we are not like Paul! That is true. However, Paul saw himself as our fellow servant, and not as something better. Moreover, he said: “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. (1 Timothy 1:15). He saw himself as an advocate of the Gospel, which he (when necessary) defended harshly against uprising, false teachings – as we read in Galatians 1:8-9 “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” And we can, in like manner, defend the Gospel and put it above all, because there is nothing greater or more important. When nothing further helps, in some discussions, it is best to simply proclaim the Gospel.

(Translated by Linda Gates)

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