Pursuing Peace

Is peace a passive thing that just sort of comes to you or is it something that needs to be sought or pursued? I think that peace with individuals is something that needs to be pursued.  I think Paul agrees with me…or better…I agree with him.  Here is what he writes in Romans 14:19-23:  “19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your […]

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To Eat or Not to Eat

Paul continues with his discussion of the importance of the person over any particular practice.  Here are verses 14-18:  “14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves […]

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How to Rightly Disagree

A lengthy passage today to make up for missing a day yesterday.  My bible captions this next section:  “The Law of Liberty”.  Paul’s words here are consistent with his other writings, especially his first letter to the Corinthians.  Here are verses 1-12:  “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his […]

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What’s In Your Closet?

One of the metaphors that Paul uses occasionally to describe the Christian life is the metaphor of clothing. I think what he has in mind is that what we wear impacts ourselves and it also is visible to others.  If you wear a striped shirt and a plaid pair of pants at the same time it will be visible to others and it also says something about you.  If we look in our closet we see the choices that we have to wear each day.  Or maybe you just pick up something from the floor (if you are over 18 and […]

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Love Your Neighbor

As Paul continues to detail the way a follower of Jesus should live, he writes a paragraph outlining the supremacy of love.  Here is Romans 8-10:  “8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”  Both music and literature have for […]

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God and Government

Contrary to some opinion, God and government are very much intertwined.  There is no such thing as “separation of church and state” from God’s perspective. Of course, I don’t mean that God intends for the government to control the church.  Mankind has gone down that road before and it doesn’t work well at all. What I do mean is that God is in charge of human government and has His hand in it; no matter who is ruling.  And God’s word reminds His people of their responsibilities in government.  Let’s read Romans 13:1-7:  “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For […]

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Let God Handle the Vengeance

Once again, Romans 12 contains advice and counsel, that if we would follow it, would change the world.  World conditions are not going to get better via politics or armed conflict.  The solution to the world’s problems is the gospel and how that gospel lives out in the lives of those who follow Jesus.  Let’s read these amazing words from Romans 12, verses 19-21:  “19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, ”says the Lord. 20 Therefore, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so […]

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“Peace Man”

Romans 12:18 contains some very good advice for each of us:  “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men”. Imagine a world where each person lives out these words?  Imagine putting yourself in a “position of peace” with all men?  This means letting go of all grudges, forgiving anyone who has wronged you, not defrauding or taking advantage of anyone in your life. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone will be at peace with you or that you will bring about world peace. What it does mean, and what the Holy Spirit will enable you […]

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No “Backsies”

Does anyone else remember playing tag or another similar game where someone is “it” and using the phrase “no backsies”?  “No backsies” means that if I tag you, you are not allowed to tag me “back”.  I’m not sure where the phrase originated, hopefully not from a grammar teacher, but I remember it being used often.  Probably the reason I remember it so often is that I was a very slow runner as a child…and little has changed…and so I was often tagged “it” and heard “no backsies” a lot.  Don’t worry, I’m over it now.  But anyway, Paul is […]

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Interpersonal Success and So Much More!

It’s interesting that this text comes on the day after a group of men from Buffalo Valley had almost an hour long discussion on abortion.  Our Saturday morning men’s breakfast group met today and, after consuming some very delicious baked goods from Gable House bakery, had a very healthy and interesting discussion on abortion.  There were various opinions in the group and we discussed not only the issue but the value that we cherish in having a group of people who can talk about things about which we disagree, and yet not call anyone names or even have harsh or […]

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