How do you react when someone stumbles? Do you laugh, or run over to help, or turn your head? One of my most embarrassing moments involved a public stumble. Envision a room full of people… a serious climate… and me bringing some props on stage. In an effort to lighten the mood, I got the brilliant idea to dance off the stage. Except dancing off the stage in flip flops was not the best decision. As I turned my body towards the stairs, my feet got tangled and I stumbled off the stage in a not-so-graceful kinda way. It’s true, the mood lightened. And thankfully my feet untangled before I fell on my face.
I caused myself stumble in this scenario. Consider how someone can cause you to stumble… or how you can cause someone to stumble. Today’s Romans reading encourages us to guard our actions so we don’t cause others to stumble. Read Romans 14:13-23.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
- Read Romans 14:13.
- Read these verses: 1 Corinthians 8:9 and 1 John 2:10. How do these verses reinforce the message of Romans 14:13?
- Explain what these verses encourage us to do. (Review Romans 14:14-16 and Romans 14:20-21 for more insight.)
- Why do you think this is important?
- What motivates us to not cause someone to stumble? (Find the answer here and here.)
- What might you do differently in order to not cause another believer to stumble?
- Read Romans 14:14-19.
- How should we live according to Romans 14:17?
- Who enables us to live this way? (Hint “… in the __________ __________.)
- Galatians 5:16-26 describes living in the Holy Spirit. When reading these verses, look for connections with Romans 8:1-13.
- What kind of fruit is produced by the Holy Spirit? (Galatians 5:22-23)
- What three fruit are mentioned in Romans 14:17?
- What fruit is the Holy Spirit producing in your life? What fruit do you need to ask the Holy Spirit to produce? Take a moment to pray. Thank God for the fruit that the Holy Spirit is producing in your life and invite God to produce fruit that you need.
- How would living in the Holy Spirit help us have harmony in the church?
- Read Romans 14:20-23.
- What is your biggest take-away from these verses?
- Read Romans 14:23. What is your reaction to this verse?
- The NLT Study Bible notes this: God’s word defines sin for us, yet sin also involves violating our conscience1. What do you learn about the conscience from these verses? 1 Samuel 24:4-6, 2 Samuel 24:10, Titus 1:15-16, Hebrews 9:14, Hebrews 10:21-23.
- Is God convicting you because you’re doing something that you believe is not right? Read Psalm 32. Now take some time to confess your sins to God and receive the joy that comes from forgiveness.
You’re forgiven! The mercy and grace we receive from our loving Heavenly Father is beyond words. Maybe you need some reminders about forgiveness. Listen to Forgiven by Sanctus Real and remember that you don’t have to carry the weight of who you’ve been ‘cause you’re forgiven. Rest in that truth today!
1 NLT Study Bible. (2004). Romans 14:23 Note (p. 1918). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.