From the Pastor's Desk
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April 19, 2017, 12:00 AM

Five Ways To Live In Harmony With One Another 

      (Taken From Chapters Romans 14 & 15 - See Scripture below)

  1. Welcome them: Are you so weak or small that you cannot tolerate someone with different opinions than yourself? Do they really have to have everything in common with you before you welcome them? Do they have to be strong and “cleaned up” spiritually before you welcome them?
  2. Accept them: Not everyone has arrived at the same understanding of truth. While there is one path, one God, one interpretation of God’s word, not everyone is at the same point in the destination. The track of maturity and knowledge is probably beyond what we comprehend; let’s accept believers wherever they are without rejecting their person. One does not have to embrace their theology to embrace their person. Let us be always kind, always loving, always seeking understanding and always true to God. In the same way Christ accepted you without any guarantees and in your mess. How did He accept you? He took you in as his own son or daughter. He held you close and forgave you without counting or reminding you of your past sins and failures or holding them against you. He is always ready to forgive you because He remembers your weak frame and that you are dust. He became a servant to you so that He would glorify his Father in Heaven. He lavished his love on you and gave you the Kingdom of God. He put in in his will and gave you inheritance in all things rich and small. Finally He promises you and home in Heaven with Him and his big beautiful family for all eternity.
  3. Don’t Criticize and/or Argue:  Others may do what you cannot do in good conscience. What right do we have to criticize the Lord’s servant? God is the ultimate and final Judge. While judging a deed is sometimes needful and biblical, judging the heart of individuals is not our job; only God knows the motives and deepest part of ones heart and spirit. What right do we have to criticize the Lord’s servant? What profit does one gain to win an argument? It is possible to win an argument and loose a friend. No need to make issues on non-essential things, beliefs and behaviors of others. Everyone will stand before the supreme Judge. All of us will give account for ourselves. Every servant will rise or fall before his own Master.
  4. Never Be A Stumbling Block To Others: It is offensive to God if the believer does not care about other’s welfare. God grieves and will not hold us guiltless when his children lives their lives haphazardly causing his brother or sister to lose faith in Him. In fact, Jesus says, “If you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea (Matthew 18:6 NIV).   .  New believers and the lambs are vulnerable. Watch your speech and actions. If your liberty is offensive to the lambs, you should be willing to forfeit your rights for love and harmony and their welfare. 
  5. Practice Patience:  Be patient with the weakness of your brother and sister. Follow the example of Christ who did not please Himself, rather He patiently suffered the insults of others and patiently modeled what is righteous. As you desire others to be and do toward you, do the same with them.                                                                                                                               Romans 14:1 - 15:9  NLT Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.  2 For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables.  3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.  4 Who are you to condemn someone else's servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him judge whether they are right or wrong. And with the Lord's help, they will do what is right and will receive his approval.  5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.  6 Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.  7 For we don't live for ourselves or die for ourselves.  8 If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose-- to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.  10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.  11 For the Scriptures say, " 'As surely as I live,' says the LORD, 'every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God. ' "  12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God.  13 So let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.  14 I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong.  15 And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died.  16 Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good.  17 For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.  19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.  20 Don't tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble.  21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble.  22 You may believe there's nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.  23 But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.                                                                                                                                                        NLT Romans 15:1 We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves.  2 We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord.  3 For even Christ didn't live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, "The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me."  4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled.  5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.  6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.  8 Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors.  9 He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them.


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