In Christ we are free. And while we may be temporarily subject to the authority of man on earth, we are ultimately under the commands of God. According to God’s Word, we are free to participate in things such as drinking wine, eating meat, even smoking weed although we must do it in a country or during a time where it complies with the local laws. Remember what is lawful in one state or country may not be lawful in another, and the laws of man change as the wind blows. But God’s law is universal, and unchanging.
“Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:32
Although we may have ultimate freedom in Christ, we must be careful of how our actions might impact others in a negative way. One thing that may be fine for one person might cause trouble for another. If someone we know is struggling with certain temptations like alcohol, lustful thoughts, or food indulgences, then we should avoid these things for their sake.
Part of loving our neighbors as ourselves is not practicing things that cause temptation around them, just as we would not want to be exposed to something that we struggle with. We must be aware of the needs of our brothers and sisters. Everyone has different temptations, and are at different points along their spiritual walk.
So how can we be aware of these things in our relationships? Often that still small voice in our conscience, the Holy Spirit, will tell us. Be still and present. Seek the Lord. Listen for His voice. Ask for His guidance. And when in doubt, ask yourself “will this action glorify God?”
John Maxwell, a prominent and highly recommended pastor, suggests asking these questions:
- Who will benefit most from this decision, me or others? – (prioritize God’s people)
- Does the decision give people a better picture of who God is? – (pursue God’s glory)
- Will this decision please God and fulfill His purpose? – (pursue God’s purpose).
We are free, living under God’s amazing grace, but remember that the ultimate purpose for us being on this earth is to bring others to Christ. Let our actions lift others up for the benefit of our faith and that of our brothers and sisters. And let us walk in love, for the glory of God.
Dear heavenly Father, help us to make decisions and to act in a way that will bring others to know you. Let us be still and listen for your voice, and to hear and understand Your Will. Help us to walk in your Ways, and be a light in this world that will draw others closer to You. We know that we are sinners and far from perfect. We thank you for your forgiveness, through the blood of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Today’s full reading: Joshua 21,22; Psalm 47; 1 Corinthians 10
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “Power belongs unto God,” – (Psalm 62:11)
- (God) “removes kings and sets up kings,” (Daniel 2:21)
- “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” – (Matthew 22:21)
- “The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will” – (Daniel 4:32)
- There is no power but of God, the powers that be are ordained of God” – (Rom 13:1)
John Maxwell Leadership Bible – (pp.1372)
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