Walk in Love and Faith [Romans 14]

15For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.

 16Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

 20Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. 21It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. 22The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

How timely this passage is for me today.  This weekend Dick (my husband) and I spent  some time discussing whether or not he should eat more cookies and through that discussion God showed me that my focus is on food.  It is so easy to get distracted and forget that "the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."  What am I pursuing when I forget this truth?  I am certainly not pursuing "the things which make for peace and the building up of one another."  What a description of "no longer walking according to love."  I am actually destroying one "for whom Christ died."

Thankfully the God who is rich in mercy has already forgiven me and as I receive His mercy I can also receive the grace He is offering. I need His power, His enablement  to have this "conviction before God," to seek to hear Him about what I should eat or not eat. Romans 10:17 reminds me from where faith comes, "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

I praise You, Father, that Your kingdom is about "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."  Thank You for inviting me to live in Your kingdom and for providing the power to walk in love and faith.

Verna McCrillis, 7/27/2009
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