Here’s some treasure I discovered while reading and studying Romans chapter 14. I hope this post brings you encouragement!

Romans 14:1 says, 

Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. (NLT) 

This is such great advice the Apostle Paul gives here. I’m sure we’ve all been in conversations with other people where we didn’t quite see eye to eye. I know I have.

Sadly there have been times when I have tried and tried to convince the other person to see things my way. It wasn’t wise and I’m thankful the Holy Spirit has showed me how to handle these types of situations through love and prayer. 

I really believe that walking in love is the bottom line. I don’t believe the bottom line is being right or convincing someone else that they are wrong. It’s whether or not we handle each situation in love.

Why is love the bottom line? God the Father is love and Jesus came to show people the Father. Everything Jesus did was done in love and we are Jesus’ disciples!

Let me encourage you about the love walk. If Jesus lives in you (if you’ve received Jesus as your Savior) you have the epitome of love living inside of you. You really do have the ability to love people – even people who aren’t acting lovely at the moment. This is 100% possible when we live our lives through the life of Christ that is in us and allow Him to live His life through us. On the contrary, a life of love is 0% possible (to live out on a consistent basis) when we’re trying to carry out the love walk in our own ability – in our own strength. 

I hope this is giving you hope because for you and I to be world changers there has to be something different about us. I believe that us choosing to love other people with God’s love, which is unconditional love, is one of the striking differences that God intends for the world to see in us. 

Again, although we won’t walk in love with others 100% of the time simply because we’re human and imperfect, it is 100% possible for us to live a life where God’s love eminates from us if we are taking the time everyday, all throughout the day, to receive God’s unconditional love for ourselves and reminding ourselves that we need to stop trying to be something in our own strength that we already are in Christ Jesus. 

Often, we can shoot ourselves in the foot (so to speak) by trying to live our Christianity in our own strength and self effort. Believe me, I did it for years. Then God helped me make what seemed like a subtle change, but it was actually one of the most significant changes I have ever made in terms of me being able to really, truly live out this Christ life inside of me.

Here’s the shift that God helped me make and I continue to grow in daily:

When a situation comes up where someone else isn’t being loving toward me, yet I know I am to respond in love I don’t reach down into my own ability, my own discipline or my own self-control to help me do the right thing. I reach into the life of Christ within me to help me respond correctly. And really, more than anything, I make the choice (by His grace) to surrender right in my moment of need by allowing Jesus to live His life through me rather than trying to handle things on my own. I get out of the way (so to speak) and simply allow Jesus to shine.

I’m telling you, when you begin to live your Christian life by continually relying on and surrendering to the life of Christ that is in you… it’s game on! 

You may have heard me say in a number of my TV interviews that since I’ve been on this grace journey I feel like my spiritual life has taken off like a rocket. Well, I believe this is one of the big reasons why. It’s really just us learning to live a life of staying connected with God no matter what’s going on around us – no matter what’s going on in our circumstances. 

Now, here’s Romans 14:1 again:

Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. (NLT) 

I know for me, I had to learn to trust God and am still learning to trust Him to reveal to other people the revelation He wants to give them and at the same time I continue trusting Him to keep me on the right path so I don’t fall into the ditch on one side of the road or the other. This new mindset has helped me stop trying to change people and instead, receive God’s grace to love people, pray for them and trust God to bring about any needed changes.

Romans 14:13 says,  

So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall. (NLT)

There it is – the love walk! Thinking about others first and considering how what we’re doing is affecting them is the very best way to live. It’s taking the high road in life.

Taking the high road of love will lead to a much better life than taking the low road will!

We won’t always feel like taking the high road, but at some point we have to ask ourselves if the way we’ve been handling things all along is really working. I know I sure had to ask myself this question.

Sometimes us Christians can be guilty of living our Christian lives the same way we’ve always lived them without ever stopping to ask ourselves if we are experiencing the overcoming life that the Bible promises us. I was a classic example of this.

I went through the same motions day after day, year after year, but it wasn’t until 34 years later (as a Christian) that I stopped and realized, oh my gosh, what I’ve been doing is not working. I’m not free. I struggle with so many of the same things I did on day one. I definitely was not living the overcoming life in Christ that I could have been had I understood God’s grace as I do today.

I highly encourage you to ask yourself the same questions I had to ask myself. Is what I’m doing working? Am I living the overcoming life in Christ that the Bible promises? 

And just to clarify, when I say the overcoming life I don’t mean you will be perfect or never struggle with anything. I also don’t mean you won’t have any problems or trials. I just mean that if you had a bad temper (or any other struggle) the first day you got saved 20 years ago and you still have just as bad of a temper today, then you should start questioning some things.

First of all, ask yourself if you are trying to live your life in your own strength or if you are living it by continually surrendering to God and receiving His strength.

Ask yourself if the teaching you are hearing – at church, through podcasts and through the books you read – is setting your eyes on Jesus and His finished work on the cross. Is it reminding you of the person you are in Christ? Is it reminding you that your righteousness is a gift and not based on your works? Is it showing you God’s true nature – His great and unconditional love for you and the riches of His grace toward you? Is it showing you practically how you can successfully live your life through God’s grace? Has it caused you to fall deeply in love with Jesus?

My friend, it is critical that you are hearing the Gospel of Grace in every message you are listening to because it is God’s grace that will transform your heart.

Once you’re finished trying to live this life by your own efforts and you’ve come to the end of yourself (a place we all have to come to), you’ll clearly see that the best thing you can do is throw yourself, full force, on the grace of God!

Then, if you’re careful that the teaching you’re choosing to listen to and the books you’re reading are full of grace and they set you in a place of rest by helping you focus on what Jesus has accomplished for you through His finished work, this in turn will result in you having right believing and right believing always leads to right living! 

For so many years, as a Christian, I spent all day, every day, running on my treadmill of accomplishment, forever trying to do it all right. At the same time I would assess everyone around me to see if I thought they were doing it all right. I spent a fair amount of time doing what the first part of Romans 14:13 tells us not to do – condemning others.

Thankfully though, now I’ve discovered that living a life of love is far superior and that love leads me to do what the second part of verse 13 recommends which is to live in such a way that I will not cause another believer to stumble and fall!

See here what Romans 14:19 says:

So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up. (NLT)  

Yes! Amen. A thousand times – Amen! 

Next God’s Treasure Chest post will be on Romans 15

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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