Morning, September 21
<< Morning, September 21 >>
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.
Both strong and weak Christians can cause their brothers and sisters to stumble. The strong but insensitive Christian may flaunt his or her freedom and intentionally offend others' consciences. The scrupulous but weak Christian may try to fence others in with petty rules and regulations, thus causing dissension. Paul wants his readers to be both strong in the faith and sensitive to others' needs.
Because we are all strong in some areas and weak in others, we need constantly to monitor the effects of our behavior on others.
Jeremiah 32:41  I will rejoice over them to do them good.

How heart-cheering to the believer is the delight which God has in his saints! We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us; we cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness; and we fear that God's people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities than admire our graces. But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery: that as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us. We do not read anywhere that God delighteth in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars, but we do read that he delighteth in the habitable parts of the earth, and that his delights are with the sons of men. We do not find it written that even angels give his soul delight; nor doth he say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, "Thou shalt be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delighteth in thee;" but he does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin, but saved, exalted, and glorified by his grace. In what strong language he expresses his delight in his people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, "He will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." As he looked upon the world he had made, he said, "It is very good;" but when he beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus' blood, his own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer, but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvellous declaration of his love, and sing, "I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation"?

Romans 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Psalm 76:10  For the wrath of man shall praise You; With a remnant of wrath You will gird Yourself.

Genesis 50:20  "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

1 Corinthians 3:21-23  So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, • whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, • and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.

2 Corinthians 4:15-17  For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. • Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. • For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,

James 1:2-4  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, • knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. • And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

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