from Lynda Lindsey
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. Romans 14:1 ~ Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Romans 14:3
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Romans 15:5-7
We, along with those Christ has welcomed into His kingdom, are not our own; we’ve been bought with Jesus’ blood. Kingdom citizens, in both life and death, belong to Christ and to each other. Together we put on Christ, live under His authority, and seek to mutually encourage and affirm one another in kingdom living. Newcomers especially need time to grow and mature in grace; those who have resided longer in the kingdom are privileged to function like a welcoming committee, offering encouragement as the Holy Spirit begins His transformational work in people’s lives.
Jesus, who died and rose again as Lord of both the living and the dead, is able to keep His children in His grace. God’s kingdom is not a matter of eating and drinking, nor what we wear, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; our conduct should reflect those godly characteristics. Regarding Christian life, what we eat and drink, how we observe the sabbath, do everything as unto the Lord, celebrating His glory and honor. Put others first. Promote joy and preserve peace. Build others up in love. Refuse divisive quarrels regarding human opinions; cause none to stumble.
Ultimately, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus as Lord; God is Judge and will judge. We will give an account of ourselves before God, but judging isn’t up to us. Our responsibility? To humbly welcome, love, and serve those God welcomes, because we are all servants in God’s household. To do otherwise brings shame to the Lord and disrupts kingdom business. In nonessentials, bear with one another in love, bear with the failings of those who fail, encourage the weak, and live to bring glory and honor to God and His kingdom. To God be all glory!