Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Romans 16:17-27

Daily Devotional – Tuesday Aug.1 2006
Romans 16:17-27

Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.

Greetings dear readers and May God bless you this day and every day.

Today we have a very short and very concise statement of reality and it provides a suggested response to a real life situation based on the example of Jesus Christ our mentor and teacher. It provides us further instruction on living as God would have us live.

We are told to avoid those around us who do not share our beliefs and values. Further we are told that they do not share our devotion to Jesus Christ and the example of Godly living that he provides to us. The proposed solution is to simply avoid them.

This seems so simple a solution. This letter is from Tertius and is not from Paul. Tertius provides a very different solution from what we might expect from Paul. Whereas Paul may have declared war on these dissenters and tried to convert them, Tertius simply says “avoid them”. What a simple solution. Is it the right solution?

In our daily Christian journey we often face the dissenter who challenges our beliefs and values. How do we respond? Do we ignore and move on or do we challenge the dissenter and try to convert the unbeliever to our side? What does God expect of us? Lots of questions and few clear answers.

I believe that God created us to make these choices on our own. Personally I have never felt comfortable as an evangelist preaching to others about what they should do and not do. As a “boss” in my working career I have often been in a position to preach and impose my beliefs on others. I have tried not to do this. I have chosen the route of leading by example. I will be judged by God and those around me based on my actions and not on my stated good intentions. This is the choice that I have been given. God did not create me as a robot responding to his every instruction. He gave me the free will to serve him in my own way. God has honored me by providing me with this privilege. I thank him and praise him every day for this gift.

AMEN

John Dickie, Aug.1, 2006

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