Don’t be a Stumbling Block

Yesterday we saw that God desires our love for Him and for others above knowledge.  Today we will look deeper into what Paul was teaching.  It is true that God desires for us to love Him and to love others, but that does not mean that He doesn’t desire for us to gain knowledge and understanding.  He absolutely desires for us to know all there is about Him and His decrees, but above that He desires for us to not become a stumbling block for others because of our “superior knowledge” (1 Cor. 8:10).  Paul said,

1 Corinthians 9:19-27

Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ.  When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ.  When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law.  Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law.  When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law, I too live apart from the law so I can bring them to Christ.  But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ.  Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.  I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training.  They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step.  I am not just shadowboxing.  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.  Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

Paul, who had experienced Jesus like no other had and who had great training in the Word submitted himself to others in love so that he could lead them to the truth that can only be found in Christ.  He put himself in the shoes of others so that he could speak to them and interact with them in ways that they would understand.  He did not let his knowledge get in the way of others knowing who Christ was, instead he humbled himself and spoke in love and humility.

Often times we think that we can win others to Christ by knowing enough about the Bible or about God, but that is rarely the case.  Paul could have argued anyone to Christ through his knowledge if anyone could have, yet he chose to love them and to speak to them in ways that would speak to them the best.  We have the opportunity to do the same when we are talking with others.  We can have all the knowledge there is in the world, but if we do not love others our message will fall on deaf ears.

So seek to learn all that you can about God, but do not let your knowledge overshadow the love that you have for others.  We have each been given a unique set of stories through which we can share the love of Christ with others.  We have been given living proof that God loves us and that He changes lives.  Share your story, love others, but above all love the Lord your God who loved you while you were still a sinner by sending Christ to die for you (Romans 5:8)

May you be filled with overflowing joy as you encounter the Lord today and share life with others around you.

Numbers 6:24-26
24 ‘May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
25 May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
26 May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’

How is your walk with God going today?

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