A Daily Dose of Good News
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://youtu.be/D6kkIrQgunc
A printer-friendly version of today’s devotion is available at DDGN 20200915
Good morning! It’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News! It is September 15, and we are in Romans 14:13-15:2.
Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor.
Here ends the reading.
And I will admit, I was convicted of this, this morning. So, this is a great one for me to reflect upon. It’s a little bit tricky, I think, to consider this, because typically we don’t have anything that we don’t eat, or that we view as holy or unholy as Lutherans. So, it can feel like, that doesn’t quite apply to us. But what this text is saying is that our actions matter. And, that not only do our actions matter for us, but they matter for other people. So, our focus needs to be on our neighbor. It needs to be on loving our neighbor and not just on what feels good for us to do. That’s a pretty high standard. But that is God’s standard. You are trying not to do things that tear down your brother or sister. You are trying to love your neighbor. You are trying to build them up. You are not trying to destroy them or destroy anything that God has created and loved. So we need to be careful of what we say and how we say it. And you all and we all, might experience that in a variety of ways. And sometimes we get really caught up on the details. Just like this painting behind me…
This painting behind me, I’m going to zoom in on…. We can get caught up on the details, which are these lines of the painting. But it causes us not to see the whole picture. Who knows what this picture is about? When we’re so close to it, we lose sight of the larger picture, and God doesn’t want us to do that. God doesn’t want us to get caught up in being right, or having the details correct or being justified in what we say. Sometimes we see that even on social media, right? People arguing about “this is my point of view and this is why it’s right”. That’s not what it’s about. Even if you are right! It doesn’t matter! It’s irrelevant! God is saying, ‘Put that aside. The big picture, what it’s about, is peace, and love and joy and living in ways that please God’. So, in this picture, as you step away from it, you see this beautiful scene – which I think you can see, if I hold my camera correctly… of people in a boat, floating down a river. It is picturesque and lovely and peaceful. That’s what God is going for. For us to act in ways which bring peace and bring love to everybody. It’s not enough for us just to do the right thing, in and of our own actions. It’s about how do our actions impact our neighbor, which is a second level. OK? So go beyond what is maybe your initial thought, of what’s right for you and have your neighbor in your sights. Think about what is peace-giving, life-giving, affirming for my neighbor. That’s the bigger picture that God calls us to. A great text for today, and one I needed. I hope it’s beneficial to you all as well. Thanks and have a great day everybody. Bye-bye.