Episode #141. Today we’ll read 1st Corinthians chapter 8 together: We are never to cause our brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #141. Today we’ll read 1st Corinthians chapter 8 together: We are never to cause our brothers and sisters in Christ to stumble.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
The Lord laid on my heart that some of you might be discouraged. You had the best intentions to finally read the New Testament and you started out really well. You missed one or two, you caught up, then something happened and you fell behind again and then that day came when you believed you had fallen so far behind that you couldn’t catch up and you just quit. I get it. Been there.
Here’s my prophetic word to you: The Earth is not going to crack if you don’t finish the New Testament by December 31, 2020. There….I said it. That is not to say that I am not encouraging you to be in the Word every day. Just the opposite. That’s the goal: to be in the Word every day. If you finish in February or June of 2021, that’s okay. We’re all about establishing that daily habit here. The reading plan is secondary.
May I make a suggestion? First, ask the Holy Spirit to plant in you the desire you need to be drawn to your daily reading. While you’re bowed, ask Him to help you resist that deceiver who does nothing but lie to you. He tells you you’re a failure, he tells you you’ll never be able to accomplish the goal, he tells you it doesn’t matter and that you’re just fine without reading the Bible every day. Ask God to bring Scripture to mind that says just the opposite. To seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you. That He has plans for you, plans to proper you, to give you a future and a hope. That all Scripture is God-breathed.
When you’re done praying those things, listen to today’s podcast; start from today. Unless the Lord prevents me, we’re gonna do the whole Bible next year, so you’ll catch the part you skipped then. Jesus never asks us to come with what we don’t have. He just asks us to come. I ask you to come back.
1 Corinthians Chapter 8
Food Offered to Idols
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “we all have knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. But if anyone loves God, he is known by him.
About eating food sacrificed to idols, then, we know that “an idol is nothing in the world,” and that “there is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth — as there are many “gods” and many “lords” — yet for us there is one God, the Father. All things are from him, and we exist for him. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ. All things are through him, and we exist through him.
However, not everyone has this knowledge. Some have been so used to idolatry up until now that when they eat food sacrificed to an idol, their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not bring us close to God. We are not worse off if we don’t eat, and we are not better if we do eat. But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone sees you, the one who has knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, won’t his weak conscience be encouraged to eat food offered to idols?
So the weak person, the brother or sister for whom Christ died, is ruined by your knowledge. Now when you sin like this against brothers and sisters and wound their weak conscience, you are sinning against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother or sister to fall, I will never again eat meat, so that I won’t cause my brother or sister to fall.
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Ouch. I believe that I have liberty in Christ. But Paul is right. It’s easy to be so cavalier with that freedom, that others might be wounded when what they see in me is filtered through their own perceptions. Actually, I think there are lots of ways we can cause our brothers and sisters who are weak in the faith to stumble.
There used to be a combination burger joint and bar here in this very small, not-quite-a-town where we live. My Tacoma truck is very recognizable, primarily because my uncle long ago gave me a decal that says, “Silly boys…trucks are for girls.” It has been displayed in the back window for almost the entire 17 years I’ve owned the truck. I’m also children’s ministries leader at our church. All the kids know that’s my truck.
Now, if those kids saw my truck parked in the lot of that bar, they’d probably think I was getting a cheeseburger. But what about the one who thought I was getting a beer? What if that was the kid who grew up with a weakness for alcohol? What if that weakness was affirmed because he or she saw Miss Joy’s truck in the parking lot of the bar?
Sorry, gang, it’s just not worth it to me. We must be constantly aware of how our choices are being perceived by those with weaker faith. It may very well have been one of the things Jesus meant when He told us to deny ourselves as we take up our crosses and follow Him. Let’s pray.
Jesus, we humble ourselves before You. We thank You profusely for the knowledge of the freedom You have given us. But at the same time, Lord, please give us discernment in how we use it. Make us aware of who is watching. Give us Your love for others so that denying ourselves becomes easier in the light of that love. We want to be like You, Lord. Help us to love like You. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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