LIVING FOR THE HIGHER PURPOSE

November 11, 2021

LIVING FOR THE HIGHER PURPOSE


For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord: therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:7-8)
“So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
“So, then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (Romans 14:20)
“It is not good to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.” (Romans 14:21)

 

How do you decide the will of God in areas that are not clearly defined in Scripture? Romans 14 is a key chapter for us as believers who live to help others and glorify God. It gives us principles upon which to make decisions about “grey areas” of life, i.e., those areas that one Christian believes are legitimate to indulge in while it hurts another’s conscience.

Our commitment to the higher purpose drives our decisions about our lesser issues.

While we shouldn’t bow to the legalistic Pharisee who puts others in bondage, Paul is reminding us that there is a higher purpose in everything we do. We are to live for Christ. Most of the areas believers disagree about are non-essential for our living. We should gladly defer on them so we will not create an unnecessary stumbling block.

This has been a wonderful instruction for me regarding alcohol, for instance, all my life. I don’t need it. I have watched it destroy families. I don’t want it to destroy mine. Further, I don’t want other people to be destroyed so I can enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, etc. It’s simply not worth it. I can testify that my life has been better because this is simply not an issue for me. And the reason I abstain is not a direct command, but this guiding “stumbling block” principle in Romans 14.

I use alcohol as an illustration because it’s a common point, but there are dozens of areas where this stumbling block principle applies.

We are to live HIGHER, in what we say, what we do, what we think. And we should always consider how our lives are affecting others and what questionable areas are saying to them about God. “Our task as believers,” as Jonathan Edwards said, “is to give the world a right opinion about God.”

The Lord is our great portion. We find our satisfaction in knowing, loving, and serving Him. Anything we lay aside in this life for His glory and the good of others will be superabundantly rewarded eternally.

Father, thank You for the freedom of saying “no” to lesser things to gain the greatest thing. Keep my focus on You today, for You are my sufficient portion and highest joy!

 





Also in Graceful Truth

15 WARNINGS ABOUT GREED
15 WARNINGS ABOUT GREED

April 10, 2024

The man who has embraced Christ’s understanding of greed and lives accordingly will open a treasure that will never be exhausted and live with a peace that cannot be bought.

Continue Reading

THE REASONABLENESS AND GENEROSITY OF GOD
THE REASONABLENESS AND GENEROSITY OF GOD

April 09, 2024

“God is easy to live with,” Tozer also said. He is not only perfect in holiness (He must deal with sin as it comes) but also flawless in kindness. If He were a man you related to, you would find Him always doing the right, gracious, benevolent thing. You would be stunned by His interest in you; awed by His acts of kindness. Overwhelmed by His unceasing generosity.

Continue Reading

MISSING THE KINGDOM OF GOD
MISSING THE KINGDOM OF GOD

April 08, 2024

Has the kingdom of God come near you? You’ve heard of Christ, seen someone in whom Christ dwelled, passed by a church on the corner, or have a Bible that a grandmother gave you years ago. Perhaps you even sit in a church every Sunday, but you have never surrendered to Christ and entered His kingdom. You never acknowledged your need and turned to Christ in faith to save you. You merely let the kingdom merely “come near.”

Continue Reading