7 We don’t live for ourselves and we don’t die for ourselves. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to God.
This chapter is all about the debate about food in the early church. People were concerned about the laws and rules that they had followed, and the changes that were happening were difficult for some people to grasp. We all go through periods of time when we may believe that this or that is an important aspect of being a Christian. We may judge others or ourselves for outward things that we do or don’t do. Verses 19 and 20 of this chapter say “So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up. Don’t destroy what God has done because of food. All food is acceptable, but its’s a bad thing if it trips someone else.”
We have heard “the devil is in the details,” and this is an example of that. We can get caught up in those details that drag us down, that cause arguments, and lead us into a legalistic way of living. We know that things like how we dress for church can be issues at times – some argue that dressing well shows respect and others argue that it is better to be in church – dressed up or not, and the list goes on and on.
Our specific verses today remind us that God knows every detail about us. God knows the exact moment that we were born and the exact moment of our death and all of the moments in between. I’m sure you have heard people say that the God of the Universe has much bigger things to worry about, so why should my small problems or blessings matter at all? Well, in Matthew 10:30 it says, “even the hairs of your head are all counted.” That is certainly a detail that nobody really knows! God wants us to live our lives knowing that the Lord of the Universe knows us – and wants to know us more personally. We have access to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit whenever and wherever we are – whatever we are doing – no matter how big or how small the praise or the need – they are there to hear us. As our scripture tells us, if we live, we live for the Lord, if we die, we die for the Lord. Our job as Christians is to rely on the Lord. My husband’s aunt was a frog lover, and she had this little saying FROG – fully rely on God.
As we look at this season of rebooting, what details have we been obsessed with that are hurting our relationships with ourselves, others and with our God? What details have we overlooked that we need to focus on to help our relationships? One small change can make other changes – it may take time, but if we never start, we will never move to that change. God wants to be part of everything we do. Let’s let God be in the details of our lives as we work to be closer in our relationship to God and to others so that we may grow as Christians.
by Janet Waryck
For Pondering & Prayer
What are some things that we need to examine that have been part of how we have thought about our relationship with God and others that just don’t seem to make sense moving forward in our faith journey as Christians? What is one thing we can change to move forward in living for the Lord?
Prayer: God of the universe, thank you for knowing us so well and for loving us so completely. Help us to see those things that block us from moving forward with our relationships with others and with you. Amen.