Monday, July 25, 2011

Chapter 5 Excerpt: Aware and Adapting

Only for My King's Chapter 5 is titled "Audience." This addresses the idea of surrendering your audience--your sphere of influence--to the Lord, who is your heavenly Audience.

Day Two of every chapter features one of my friends. In this chapter, it's Raye:

Aware and Adapting
Our women's Bible Study group takes a break during the summer months. Last year my friend Raye heard some of the moms of young children talking about the need to get together during the summer. She decided that was a need that she could fill. She scheduled several playdates, complete with swimming pool, lunch, Bible stories and crafts. She sensibly delegated a few responsibilities, and invited us all to join. It certainly was an enjoyable day, but some of the activities didn't quite fit the age of the children attending. Raye realized this, and called each of the moms the next day, asking what we thought she should adjust before the next meeting. Raye was aware of the needs of her audience and adapted her plans to fit them.

As I searched for scriptures on this topic, I found Romans 14. Many of the Apostle Paul's friends kept the Jewish dietary laws, but quite a few others ate whatever they wanted to. Some Christians were very cautious about eating meat, wanting to be sure it didn't come from sources who may have offered it to pagan idols. Others just enjoyed meat without asking questions. Some honored the Jewish Sabbath, while others didn't. The church was growing, and there were converts of many different cultures. How could they all agree? Paul gave them this advice:

Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don't argue about doubtful issues. One person believes he may eat anything, but one who is weak eats only vegetables. One who eats must not look down on one who does not eat; and one who does not eat must not criticize one who does, because God has accepted him. Who are you to criticize another's household slave? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And stand he will! For the Lord is able to make him stand.

One person considers one day to be above another day. Someone else considers every day to be the same. Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it to the Lord. Whoever eats, eats to the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is to the Lord that he does not eat, yet he thanks God. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came to life for this: that He might rule over both the dead and the living. But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God.” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

...So then, we must pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. (Romans 14:1-12, 19)

Paul told his readers to be sensitive to each other, and not to waste time arguing. He reminded them that they were serving the Lord, and would answer to Him.

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