Peace through Mutual Edification (Romans 14.19-21)


Listen to The Daily Word online. We all want to live in peace, but are we willing to do what peace requires?  Several years ago, as a Christmas gift, my mother gave me a copy of a famous etching by William Strutt. It hangs in my office, behind my desk. The focus of the picture is a young child holding an olive branch. A variety of animals—both domestic and predatory—surround him. Titled “Peace,” the etching draws its inspiration from Isaiah 11.6:  The wolf will live with the lamb,the leopard will lie down with the goat,the calf and the lion and … Continue reading Peace through Mutual Edification (Romans 14.19-21)

Pleasing to God, Approved by Men (Romans 14.13-18)


Listen to The Daily Word online. How can we live in a way that honors God and earns the respect of our neighbors? Romans 14.13-18 shows the way. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer … Continue reading Pleasing to God, Approved by Men (Romans 14.13-18)

The Final Judgment (Romans 14.9-12)


Listen to The Daily Word online. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards may very well be the scariest sermon ever preached in America. “There is nothing,” Edwards argued, “that keeps wicked Men, at any one Moment, out of Hell, but the mere Pleasure of GOD.” If that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, nothing will. I mention Edwards because we don’t often hear sermons about hell anymore, or heaven for that matter. Perhaps in reaction to older preachers who talked about the hereafter too much, contemporary preachers instead focus on the here and now. … Continue reading The Final Judgment (Romans 14.9-12)

We Belong to the Lord (Romans 14.5-8)


Listen to The Daily Word online. The first question of the Heidelberg Catechism (1563) asks, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” Answer: “That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.” The idea that we belong to Jesus comes directly out of the Bible, and if you put that idea into practice, it will change the way you live. Romans 14.5-8 clearly states the idea of belonging to Jesus:  One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each … Continue reading We Belong to the Lord (Romans 14.5-8)

Who are you to judge? (Romans 14.2-4)


 Listen to The Daily Word online. As a pastor, I am often asked what the Bible teaches about some controversial moral issue. Occasionally, if I give an answer my questioners don’t like, they follow up with another question: Who are you to judge? It’s a good question, and I think I’ve got a pretty good answer.  The who-are-you-to-judge question is usually rhetorical. My questioners aren’t inquiring into my spiritual, moral, or intellectual credentials to state an opinion on the matter. Instead, they’re hurling an accusation. “Who are you to judge?” really means “You are in no position to judge!”  Regardless … Continue reading Who are you to judge? (Romans 14.2-4)

Living with Differences of Opinion (Romans 14.1)


Listen to The Daily Word online.  When I was in college, I had to win every argument I started. I loved being right and hated losing a debate. Because I was a very opinionated freshman, I started a lot of arguments my first year. I paid a huge social cost for my combativeness the next year. My friends didn’t want to argue with me, and since that’s all I seemed to do, they left me alone. I eventually learned that not every debate can or needs to be won. Friends live with differences of opinion.  In Romans 14.1-15.13, Paul outlines … Continue reading Living with Differences of Opinion (Romans 14.1)