Chapter-a-Day Romans 14

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way
you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say
something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong
on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their
own history to deal with. Treat them gently
. Romans 14:1 (TM)

I’ve been a member in and served in a host of churches and denominations. In practically every church I’ve been in, there has been conflict over two issues: to clap or not to clap and raising your hands in worship.

Clappers and hand raisers are demonstrative in worship, taking literally the Bible’s admonition to – well – clap and raise your hands. Clappers and hand-raisers can be a bit snooty in their zealous worship style with those who don’t buy into their free expression with God.

The hands-at-your-sides-or-in-your-pockets crowd feel that all the noise and demonstrative worship does nothing but draw attention away from God and on to the worshiper. They can be a bit judgmental and self-righteous in their dignified piety.

Chill. Both of you. You’re both being silly and ignoring God’s word in Romans 14. It’s really a great chapter and well worth clicking on the link above to read all of it in The Message. And, while I use clappers and non-clappers as a relatively safe example, it would also be a good idea to read for any two camps within the body:

Catholics and Protestants
Pentecostals and Non-Pentecostals
Evangelicals and Main-liners
Drinkers and Abstainers
Republicans and Democrats
Meat-eaters and Vegans
Christian Rockers and the Hooked-on-Classics Crowd
King James and NIV’ers
and on…
and on…
and on…

What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it
for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank
God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory
of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist
on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the
way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s
why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our
Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the
petty tyrannies of each other.
Romans 14:6-9 (TM)

Chapter-a-Day Romans 14

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way
you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say
something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong
on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their
own history to deal with. Treat them gently
. Romans 14:1 (TM)

I’ve been a member in and served in a host of churches and denominations. In practically every church I’ve been in, there has been conflict over two issues: to clap or not to clap and raising your hands in worship.

Clappers and hand raisers are demonstrative in worship, taking literally the Bible’s admonition to – well – clap and raise your hands. Clappers and hand-raisers can be a bit snooty in their zealous worship style with those who don’t buy into their free expression with God.

The hands-at-your-sides-or-in-your-pockets crowd feel that all the noise and demonstrative worship does nothing but draw attention away from God and on to the worshiper. They can be a bit judgmental and self-righteous in their dignified piety.

Chill. Both of you. You’re both being silly and ignoring God’s word in Romans 14. It’s really a great chapter and well worth clicking on the link above to read all of it in The Message. And, while I use clappers and non-clappers as a relatively safe example, it would also be a good idea to read for any two camps within the body:

Catholics and Protestants
Pentecostals and Non-Pentecostals
Evangelicals and Main-liners
Drinkers and Abstainers
Republicans and Democrats
Meat-eaters and Vegans
Christian Rockers and the Hooked-on-Classics Crowd
King James and NIV’ers
and on…
and on…
and on…

What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it
for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank
God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory
of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist
on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the
way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s
why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our
Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the
petty tyrannies of each other.
Romans 14:6-9 (TM)

Chapter-a-Romans 13

But make sure that you don’t
get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day
obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to
God
. Romans 13:11 (TM)

I don’t believe there is one person who doesn’t have enough "day-by-day" obligations to distract us from God. That’s why putting God on your "to-do" list next to the groceries, the kids’ activities, and that client meeting doesn’t work. He’ll never make it up the list past all of the  daily fires and responsibilities.

Don’t let God be an item on your to-do list. Let Him be the paper on which you write the list. He should be behind everything that you do and present in every activity, every task, every meeting, every relationship, and every thought.

It’s the difference between church being ‘a good thing to do‘ and Jesus being Lord and master of your life.

Chapter-a-Romans 13

But make sure that you don’t
get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day
obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to
God
. Romans 13:11 (TM)

I don’t believe there is one person who doesn’t have enough "day-by-day" obligations to distract us from God. That’s why putting God on your "to-do" list next to the groceries, the kids’ activities, and that client meeting doesn’t work. He’ll never make it up the list past all of the  daily fires and responsibilities.

Don’t let God be an item on your to-do list. Let Him be the paper on which you write the list. He should be behind everything that you do and present in every activity, every task, every meeting, every relationship, and every thought.

It’s the difference between church being ‘a good thing to do‘ and Jesus being Lord and master of your life.

Sacred Marriage

Wendy and I enjoyed spending most of the weekend at church, attending Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage conference. We had been asked to put together a skit as part of a kick-off to the weekend, so we wrote one and performed on Friday night. It went really well and we were encouraged that the skit reportedly added to everyone’s experience.

I got through the seminar and realized that I really hadn’t written too many notes. I don’t remember much from the weekend, and certainly don’t remember having any major revelations. Nevertheless, it was a great weekend of revisiting some important principles, talking about them, and renewing our commitment to making them a part of our every day relationship.

It’s sort of like reading a chapter-a-day. Often times you read the same passage you’ve ready many times before – but it’s still worthwhile. It gets your mind thinking on the right things and provides a little spiritual chiropractic – putting your mind and heart back in alignment.

Chapter-a-Day Romans 12

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. Romans 12:2a (TM)

It’s funny sometimes how the Holy Spirit orchestrates moments of synchronicity around my daily chapter. Yesterday, after church, Wendy and I were talking to Charlie Koopman – the new worship leader at our church. He was talking about some of his visions for worship and one of them was to "influence our culture". Then I read this morning’s chapter, and I’m asking myself…

…am I influencing my culture more than I’m being influenced by it?