THE HOLY BIBLE – 23 You are certainly free to eat food offered to idols if you want to; it’s not against God’s laws to eat such meat, but that doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and do it. It may be perfectly legal, but it may not be best and helpful. 24 Don’t think only of yourself. Try to think of the other fellow, too, and what is best for him. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-33 ~ Living Bible (TLB)
THOUGHTS: Glance back at today’s title again and think about how ‘worldly’ that statement sounds. Not at all, right? That’s because this is an attribute of a child of God, friends. Paul used this in teaching the Corinthian church, where members who had accepted Jesus as Lord, realized that there were some traditional practices where they had recognized they may have been questioning God’s authority to bless and/or authorize them to eat. The problem Paul saw in that, is that they chose to eat these meats in the presence of weak Christians or even those who had yet to accept Christ. This created an air of unacceptance or separation by the unsaved, where it could have become almost impossible to break through their barrier, to teach them anything about the Lord. Let’s put this into a current, practical application. Assume with me that you invited a person to your church who is unsaved, but have always felt ‘religious’ convictions about eating pork, because they had at one time in their life been taught that the pig was ‘unclean’. So after the worship service, at the church-provided luncheon you filled your plate up with pork chops and proceeded to sit next to your invited friend to gorge yourself on this delicious meat. You noticed that after excusing themselves several times to make trips to the bathroom, your friend finally told you bye, and they left. Your eating of a food that made them sick to their stomach, not only put a wedge between the two of you, but could very easily have placed such a disgust in the mind of that friend for Christians as a whole, that they would never again accept an invitation to your church. This is an example of something being OK (legal) in your mind, but it totally offended your friend that you invited to church. Food is not the only thing that offends, or turns a prospect off from the Jesus you have been trying very hard to share with your friends. However, may I suggest to you that if you stick to the things of God and the practices taught by His Precious Son, then you can’t go wrong. You have developed a hardness in your heart against those things that may offend God, things that you automatically do in the presence of weaker Christians and/or prospects, causing them to question what kind of God could you possibly be serving. Right or wrong, non-Christians have their view about what a ‘perfect’ follower of Christ should look and act like. We have a responsibility to God to act and talk like Him so that He might use us to minister and/or encourage those that we come into contact with. We are to be ambassadors for Christ and learn to stay pliable by Him. This will lead to a life where our friends will see the difference in us, and not question to whom we could possibly belong. If you are truly on the Lord’s side, may I encourage you today to seek His face and desire to live according to His Word and His will for your life. Time is short before the Lord returns. We can’t afford ‘mess-ups’ like given in the example above. We are on mission for Jesus Christ, not on a self-pleasing mission for personal pleasure or gain. Join me, won’t you?
PRAYER: Father You sent Your Son to this earth to witness how far we had strayed, and to teach us how we should live obedient lives that are pleasing to You and therefore be individuals who are usable by You. Lord, this old sinful world has such a tug on Your children, especially when we lose sight of Your goodness and Your teachings. Lord, personally, I want to be just like You. I want my life to be a living example of all that You have taught us in Your Word, so that others touched by me would have touched the hand of God extended through me. I pray that You will multiply this request over and over, as individuals read this devotional today and share a desire to also be Your committed servant. Touch Your people once again dear God, so that we might become servants that You can be proud of, and usable instruments in Your hand – all for Your ultimate glory and honor. For these blessings I humbly pray, in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to blogger.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!