Day 17 of Omer

Today is day 17 of counting the Omer
Today is day 17 out of Egypt
Today is day 17 of Messiah Resurrected

#Winning (Romans 14:1-23)

Unity in Community

1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of disputes about opinions. 2 One person has faith to eat anything, but the weak eats only vegetables.

3 Don’t let the one who eats disparage the one who does not eat, and don’t let the one who does not eat judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.
4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he shall stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

5 One person esteems one day over another while another judges every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
6 The one who observes that day does so to the Lord. The one who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and the one who abstains, abstains to the Lord, and he gives thanks to God.
7 For none of us lives for himself, and none dies for himself.
8 For if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
9 For this reason Messiah died and lived again, so that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you too, why do you look down on your brother? For we all will stand before the judgment seat of God.
11 For it is written,
“As I live, says Adonai,

every knee shall bow to Me,

and every tongue shall give praise to God.”
12 So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.
13 Therefore let us not judge one another from now on, but rather decide this—not to put a stumbling block or a trap in the way of a brother.
14 I know, and am persuaded in the Lord Yeshua, that nothing is unholy in itself; but it is unholy for the one who considers it unholy.
15 For if your brother is grieved on account of food, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy by your food the one for whom Messiah died.
16 Therefore do not let what is good for you be spoken of as evil—
17 for the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking, but righteousness and shalom and joy in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.
18 For the one who serves Messiah in this manner is pleasing to God and approved by men.
19 So then let us pursue what makes for shalom and for the building up of one another.
20 Stop tearing down the work of God for the sake of food. Indeed all things are clean, but wrong for the man who by eating causes stumbling.
21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything by which your brother stumbles.
22 The faith you have, keep it to yourself before God. How fortunate is the one who does not condemn himself for what he approves.
23 But the one who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because it is not of faith. And whatever is not of faith is sin.

Reflect (By Aybars Uckun):
Our culture naturally puts successful people on pedestals. Whether they be historical figures, athletes, performing artists, titans of industry, or even those who are merely experiencing their “fifteen minutes of fame,” we are compelled to follow their stories and accomplishments. Often the backstory of these individuals incorporates elements of determination, tenacity, unyielding grit, and/or chance. They are fighters who succeed by the sheer force of their will, and many times #winning comes to them by steamrolling their opposition into submission. Friends, this is not how God views success. Spiritual success comes from an attitude that defers to others, especially when they are weaker than us. We are called to be a people who model Yeshua's love, compassion, and gentleness towards one another. This means we need to be intentional about not turning our spiritual, political, or personal opinions into mandates for everyone else. We must remember that God gives each one of us the freedom to explore the depths of His love for us and to seek out His plans for our lives. A hyper-focused and dogmatic stance on these kinds of issues disrupt our unity. We need to consistently challenge our own assumptions and traditions in a manner that promotes godly change in our own hearts first! When we focus on allowing God to gently break us of our own misassumptions (instead of trying to change everyone else!), it is then that we will become more like Him. Our hearts, transformed by love, will bring more glory to God and more people into His kingdom than our dogmatism ever could.

Prayer: Father, help us to recognize that our dogmatic positions are hurtful not only to us, but to others as well. We want to be obedient to Your word and allow the Holy Spirit to change us, and to know that only You can change the hearts of others. If we are being steamrollers, help us to stop! We only want to know You, to model Your humility and gentleness, and to lead others into Your kingdom here at Restoration and anywhere else you may lead us. In Yeshua’s name, amen.