Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Graciousness”
Our Bible verse for today: “So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another.” Romans 14:19 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “A spirit of graciousness should reign in the church.”
As our study of graciousness comes to an end I want to conclude by considering Paul’s teaching in Romans 14:13-23. When Bible commentators attempt to summarize the main theme of this passage many of them choose the phrase “The Law of Love.” In other words, the guiding principle Paul was teaching about here is that in our interactions with each other Christians should be guided by the law of love.
The back-story behind this passage is that in the early Christian church there was a group called “Judaizers”. These were Christians who attempted to include in the practice of the Christian faith a lot of the rules, regulations, and traditions of Judaism – especially the Levitical dietary restrictions. Then they tried to insist that all Christians had to observe those restrictions.
So in this passage Paul taught that (1) Those dietary restrictions were un-Christian because Jesus Himself had done away with them. (2) By attempting to require other Christians to observe those restrictions they were requiring more of them than the Lord Himself requires. (3) We should never create stumbling blocks that might cause other Christians to struggle or fall. (4) Out of a sense of love and caring, we should put the well being of others above our own desires.
Clearly Paul was calling for a spirit of love and graciousness to reign in our churches. There should be no extra-Biblical rule-making; no judgmental niggling and nitpicking; and no inconsiderate or insensitive behavior. Instead we should deal with each other out of love and kindness, seeking the best for others, always striving to lift them up and encourage them.
I know that pridefulness is a sin if it is misplaced and for the wrong reasons. But sometimes a sense of pride is good and appropriate if it’s for the right reason. As the Pastor of Oak Hill Baptist Church I’m proud of our people because they practice what Paul preached here. A spirit of love and graciousness reigns in our church and it’s precisely because we do not have a bunch of judgmental rule-makers. Instead our folks are kind and gracious. There is a spirit of genuine love and concern for others and everyone strives to encourage and lift each other up.
If you are anywhere near Crossville, TN we would love to have you visit with us. Sunday school is at 9:00, Worship service is at 10:00, and Sunday evening Bible study is at 6:00.
As we conclude our month of study on the theme of graciousness I encourage you to be a gracious person. May graciousness be your personal legacy and may a spirit of graciousness reign in your church.