Release The Shackles

Good morning! Yesterday, we read verses that gave us insight on idols/gods, God the Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. The day prior we learned that when knowledge is uniformed by love dictates a person’s behavior that spiritual harm may occur. Today as we finish 1 Corinthians chapter eight, Paul continues to answer the question, “So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Join me as we continue reading Paul’s response.

However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.

But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble. 10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol? 11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer[b] for whom Christ died will be destroyed. 12 And when you sin against other believers[c] by encouraging them to do something they believe is wrong, you are sinning against Christ. 13 So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.” – 1 Corinthians 8:7-13 NLT

Paul established two foundational principles before answering the question. It was to love like God loves and to understand who God is in comparison to idols/gods. We know God loves us and he calls us to love like him. We also know nothing compares to God, the Father or the Lord, Jesus Christ because all things were created by God. Therefore, idols and false gods have no authority or control over anything.

Paul explains in these verses that new believers may not be as strong in their faith. That they may still struggle with their freedom in Christ Jesus. As such, the stronger believer in love should not hinder the believer, but live out their faith as examples to the new believer so that as they grow in knowledge and in the freedom that they have in Christ that the new believer will come to know the power and authority that God has over gods/idols and no longer be shackled by their weak conscience.

Sisters and brothers, may God’s love and knowledge be in you and demonstrated by you. May our Father, God and our Lord, Jesus Christ release the shackles that have us bound so that we can live in true freedom.

Father God, thank you for your love toward us. Thank you for your grace. Lord, no one knows us like you do. Lord, we trust you with our lives, families and friends. Lord, forgive us for being self-centered and unwilling to follow your instructions. Lord, may the things we do from this point forward bring glory and honor to your name. Lord, as we go through this day strengthen our faith and keep us focused on your promises. Lord, as the school year is underway for many children and young adults we ask that you cover them on their way to school, while they are in school and on their way home. Lord, equip them with wisdom and understanding. Lord, may you be visible in the classroom, amongst teachers and faculty, and the various schools and campuses. Lord, be with the administrators and boards as they make decisions on schools, teachers, class ratios and budgets. Lord, help these students with their studies, their home lives and decisions that they make. Lord, protect them from gun violence, human trafficking, drugs and bullying. Lord, shelter them under your wing. Lord, we know you are more powerful than the things we face, yet Lord we need your constant comfort reminding us of that. So Lord, wherever there is doubt in our hearts, remove it. Lord, where there is lack of faith restore it. Lord, where there is fear, help us to stand against it and move in your strength and mighty power. Lord, we thank you and love you. In Jesus name we pray, amen.

Keep praying! Keep Trusting God in the Process! Keep believing!

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