“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'” So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin. Romans 14:1-23 NIV
The Kingdom of God is about spiritual things. It is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is about our heart attitude and not the outward rituals and observances that we think are so important. It is much more important to God that we love each other and that we are kind to each other, than that we observe rules and regulations. People try to impress God with their religion, whilst they sacrifice people and relationships. They are prepared to destroy another person to uphold a belief or an opinion. But to God – PEOPLE are the most important thing. We are all connected to each other because we are all connected to God. We need to love and take care of one another.
Through the ages, people have killed each other because their beliefs and practices differed, but God says that it is not our place to judge or condemn or pass sentence on another person. We are all God’s servants. We are each accountable to Him alone and must answer to Him alone. God always asks us to check out our own heart and not to judge others. He tells us how to live our own lives according to His word and not to regulate the lives of others. We must do the right thing no matter what anyone else is doing. We must do the right thing because it is the right thing. We must trust God and know that He has everything under control and that He sees all and know all and that He knows what He is doing. He will take care of all the wrong and the right. We need to mind our own business and make sure that we walk right, talk right and do right ourselves.
The Kingdom of God is about righteousness – being acceptable to and accepted by God, not man. It is not what man thinks of us, but what God thinks about us, that counts in eternity. If we are in right standing with Almighty God then we have nothing more to fear. The Kingdom of God is about peace – heart peace. It is about having peace with God. The peace
That passes understanding. The peace we have, knowing that Jesus paid the price and that there is nothing more we can do or need to do to earn God’s grace. The Kingdom of God is about joy – relaxing in God’s love and acceptance and enjoying the life we have in Him. It is time to forget about what everyone else is doing and to forget the things that are unimportant in God’s eyes and in eternity. It is time to enjoy this life we have in Jesus!