HAPPY NEW YEAR and GOD BLESS US ALL!
Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions. Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand. Romans 14:1-4
As many of you know, one of the things I like to do is listen to Dr. Charles Swindoll. Last week he was preaching on Romans 14. The first thing that stood out was “Judge not lest ye be judged!” Of course, this was only the beginning. As I listened it struck me that though Paul wrote this in a letter thousands of years ago, it was speaking directly to our little fellowship at Seal Beach. We have so many different folks at different places in their journey of faith that one would think that we must argue all the time, or at least, find fault in each other’s points of view. But it is not the case. A unifying factor is that we have all been hurt by judgement of others. We remember the pain of false or “half-true” accusations. We remember how though we love Christ and his church we have stumbled and fallen short of God’s calling for us. (PS. 106:6) It is good to remember because in it we are humbled and made pliable for God’s Holy Spirit to work in us. We can greet others without expecting them to be a certain way or act/dress a certain way. When we come to the beach there is no dress code, no code of action that we must follow. Folks come, seeking peace and/or solitude and find us gathering there in worship, allowing God to lead in our journey.
I love this last part of the section Paul writes, “It is before their own lord that they stand or fall.” I have always believed that we were not called to be caretakers of others. That is God’s job and He does a much better job than I do. My job is to pronounce the Good News or “God news” of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that is what I will do until I no longer have breath. I will spend my time speaking about what/who saves humanity not on what condemns it. This is the light I want to stand in and I hope you will stand with me.
God’s grace be with you all,