God is going to teach us how to not sweat the small stuff that causes division and halts the unity in relationships. If we would apply what Paul shares in these verses, we would be more united. So, go ahead and read Romans 14 for today’s study time and lets move forward into the unity that God is calling us to.
Paul starts us out with a simple but profound answer to what plagues our churches, “Accept other believers.” We are so quick to react like the world does and nit pick our brothers and sisters in Christ over trivial things. We forget that God calls us to love like He does. He accepts us, so, we are to do the same.
We are to not argue either about what is right and wrong. Paul gives the example of what people eat.
ASK YOURSELF: What does Paul say in verses 2-3? What did you learn?
If God accepts someone, then we are to do the same. As believers, we live by what God says. We read in verse 4, “Who are you to condemn?” We are to let God be the judge of what is right and wrong in another person’s life.
“With the Lord’s help, they will do what is right and will receive His approval.”4
Paul uses the Sabbath day as another example of accepting others. In the United States, Sunday is reserved for the day to worship God. Christians usually attend church on Sunday mornings. Some churches have services on Saturdays or Sunday evenings instead of Sunday morning. Paul is reminding us to don’t be critical over such things.
ASK YOURSELF: What does verses 6-8 say in how we are to think about this? Why do you think God had Paul give us verse 9?
“So, why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on them?”10
ASK YOURSELF: What are we to remember from verses 10-12?
We each have to decide to, “live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.”13 In God’s family, we do not live independent of one another. We walk united in all areas of life when we follow Jesus.
ASK YOURSELF: During this pandemic, how can believers live dependently with one another instead of independently?
Look at what verse 14 says, “I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus…” This is the basis of Paul’s faith. He knows without a shadow of a doubt who he belongs to and he is convinced of who Jesus is.
ASK YOURSELF: Do you have the same faith as Paul?
ASK YOURSELF: What do you learn from verses 14-16?
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”17
Paul says if we serve Christ with this attitude, we will please God. We are to aim for harmony in the church and build each other up.
We see in verses 20-23 how not to be stumbling blocks for others in their faith walks. We are not to tear apart the work that God is doing in someone else. Since we do not know what is going on inside another’s heart, we are to remain loving and kind and have understanding and patience; like Jesus is with us.
ASK YOURSELF: What is God saying to you from these four verses?
I believe Paul is wanting us to see how important it is to accept others in where they are at in their faith journeys. We tend to take the small stuff and turn them into big problems when we judge and compare one another. It is time to lay our halos down and simple love each other. It’s time to stop sweating the small stuff and be His light towards our brothers and sisters.