“I took the dog for a walk in the neighborhood the other day,” Stan began, “and I stopped to talk with a neighbor who was out in his front yard examining how some bugs were destroying his roses.”
“Oh,” I responded, “I hate that when something destroys something else like that.”
“The apostle Paul wrote about that,” Stan said.
“Bugs and roses?” I asked. “That would surprise me.”
“No,” Stan replied, “he was not writing about bugs and roses, but he was addressing the issue of Christian destruction.”
“Christian destruction? What’s that mean?”
“In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome,” Stan replied, “he was addressing the issue of conscience and not letting unimportant things get in the way of what’s important.”
Continuing, he added, “Paul was specifically addressing the matter of believers getting along with fellow believers about matters of conscience.”
“Such as what?”
“What they eat, what days they worship, and, basically, everything they do with their faith,” Stan replied. “It seems to me that the bottom-line Paul was addressing was about not judging another person. Leave that in God’s very capable hands.”
“But what does that have to do with destruction?”
“Paul described it very graphically,” Stan said, “by writing that the readers were and are not to destroy those for whom Christ died on the cross.”
“Christ died for all,” I replied, “don’t destroy any. That is powerful!”
“Exactly,” Stan said, “and that’s what my neighbor was talking about after he lamented about his roses being destroyed by the bugs.”
“He said that when he was a new Christian, someone in the church just about destroyed his faith by telling him something about what he was eating and drinking that he later found out was way off base. He said that what he was told made him feel like he wasn’t a ‘real’ Christian and maybe he should just forget about it.”
“But you said it didn’t destroy his faith,” I said. “What happened?”
“He went to the pastor of the church and told him what was going on,” Stan replied. “Fortunately, the pastor knew the truth that Paul was writing about and was able to reassure my neighbor so his faith was not destroyed. Not only was it not destroyed, he said that what happened made a lasting impact on him in his relationship with other believers.”
“In what way?”
“By always keeping in focus that Christ died for all, and that if anything he did would keep another person from that reality, he was off base. And I think it’s the same for me and for each one of us.”
I didn’t respond, so Stan continued. “I am to focus on the one essential, that Christ was crucified for all, and I am never to destroy another person’s opportunity for life eternally with God when it’s time, and I am to never do anything that will keep another person from drawing ever closer to God on this side of eternity by anything I say or do.”
“So,” I said, “ we are to focus on what’s important, which is Christ was crucified for all, and leave the rest to God. Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan replied. “God does not want any to perish, and He certainly doesn’t want me or anyone else to do anything to get in the way of what He wants!”
Bible verses to consider:
Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Romans 14:15.
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. 1 Peter 3:18.
But we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24.
If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. Romans 10:9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for giving Jesus so that all who believe can have life with you eternally when their time here is completed. Thank you that it is belief for the opportunity to know you and Jesus in an ever-deepening relationship on this side of eternity, a relationship that is build on the foundational truth that Christ died once for all, including me. You make it clear that I am to focus only on the importance of the truth, and not let the things that are unimportant get in the way. Please help me in never causing any destruction in another person’s life or eternal destination by focusing on what is not important in the big picture. Help me to keep myself out of your way so you can do all you want in and through me for your eternal purposes. Thank you that I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted the fundamental truth of God’s free and gracious provision of life with Him eternally when it is time? If no, why? What’s is holding you back? If you are a Christian with the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in only focusing on the important things and not getting sidetracked with what is not important in the big picture? Especially how are you doing in not putting anything in the way of another person’s belief and faith? If you sense the need for any change in what you focus on for yourself, as well as for others, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?
One thought on “August 30, 2022 — Caution: Faith can be Fragile; Handle with Care”
AMEN to focus on things that matter. What binds us together, rather than tearing us apart. The world needs to see the demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit that binds us all together with “cords that cannot be broken”. Divisions come with pride-filled comparisons. Unity flourishes when the Christian follower focuses on Jesus!