The Bible passage for mediation, prayer, and reflection, for the week of February 12-18, 2017, is Romans 14:1-4. The merging of Jewish Christians with Gentile Christians was not an easy process. Jews were accustomed to following a strict set of laws and continued to follow many of these laws after becoming Christians. They assumed that all Christians would embrace the laws. Gentile Christians came from an environment of relative few religious rules. They were accustomed to great freedoms and were astounded and resentful at being asked to follow the strict rules. Paul was aware of these differing opinions and did his best to address the problem.
As for the man who is a weak believer, welcome him [into your fellowship], but not to criticize his opinions or pass judgment on his scruples or perplex him with discussions. One [man’s faith permits him to] believe he may eat anything, while a weaker one [limits his] eating to vegetables. Let not him who eats look down on or despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains criticize and pass judgment on him who eats; for God has accepted and welcomed him. ho are you to pass judgment on and censure another’s household servant? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he shall stand and be upheld, for the Master (the Lord) is mighty to support him and make him stand. (Romans 14:1-4, AMP)
Judgement is the theme of this passage. We should not judge how others choose to worship, for each will be held accountable before the Lord. Jewish Christians were judging the worship habits of Gentile Christians, who were unfamiliar with worship of the Lord. Paul is stressing in this passage that one who truly loves the Lord and has their relationship right with Him, would not do anything to drive away those who want to worship the Lord. They would be willing to help teach and encourage, without passing judgement. As you meditation on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s passage, consider if your relationship is right before the Lord. Do you pass judgement on others?