It’s All Good

Scripture: Romans 14:

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat your brother or sister with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
       " ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
       ‘every knee will bow before me;
       every tongue will confess to God.’ " [a]

12 So then, we will all give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.

Observation:  All of God’s creation is good.

Application:  I’m reminded this morning of the movie “Bruce Almighty ” staring Jim Carey and Morgan Freeman.  There are several scenes in the movie where after accomplishing a task they (Carey and Freeman) would say “It’s goooood” {Phonetic}  It’s a reference to Genesis chapter one, where after God created things He would see them and know that they were good. Gen 1:31  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.  The Lord God Almighty, our creator has made all things in the world, and in the heavens, and everything that is was made by him and IT IS GOOD.

Once you really start wrestling around with this in your mind it can get overwhelming.  Because there are many things in this world, and in creation that we don’t see as being inherently good creations. Some things are just bad aren’t they?  Like Snakes for example.  Who was it that tempted Eve in the garden and started this whole “fall of man” deal in the first place?  A snake!  Snakes are slimy, and creepy looking, and I don’t like snakes.  But they are part of creation aren’t they?  They are part of that every thing that he had made and behold it was very good.

Now what Paul is talking about in our scripture today are those things that we have made bad in our own minds.  Although all of creation is good, and God doesn’t make junk, we can use parts of creation in harmful and negative ways, and we can make things be for us bad.  Back to the snake for example, I have a hard time seeing snakes as Good.  So in my own mind I’ve made snakes a bad thing.  If you were to try to hand me a snake and say, “Here hold this for me, don’t worry its part of God’s creation its good.”  I might have a few differing opinions for you there, I might want to argue about theology for a little while before I took hold of the snake. 

Some people, more so in the past I think, use snakes in worship services to prove their faith, they even go so far as to allow them to bite them, and then seek no medical attention, proving their faith in God.  This for me would be a stumbling block as Paul said.  I would most definitely end up not going to Church if that is the only option I had.  You might call it a weakness in faith, and you would be right I suppose, but we are to be careful not to place stumbling blocks in the paths of those who have a weak faith.  Rather we are to build them up. 

Note: This is only an example and I am in no way trying to be negative about anyone else’s ways of worshiping God.

There are many things we could put in the place of my snake example.  Usually I see people adamantly against something because it’s something they themselves have struggled with to overcome.  What we may need to realize is that just because it was a stumbling block to our faith, it may not be a stumbling block to the person we are now looking at and judging.  That’s why we are not to judge at all, but let each person be accountable to their own conscious which God has placed within them.  We will each stand before God and give an account some day, and we will be judged in the same manner which we have judged others, so as we think about our own lives and the many mistakes we each make, let this be our motivation to never judge, but only to try and build up faith.

Prayer:  Father of Mercy,

Grant me the restraint and wisdom to never judge my brothers or sisters, and to constantly reach out in love and forgiveness, charity and kindness, hope and faith, to build up and not tear down what you are doing in each life.  Forgive me of my shortcomings and help me to forgive all who have ever wronged me.  I know that you are using ALL things for good, and I praise you for the good things that I don’t understand.   Even the snakes.

Love Michael

Yield: Snakes are good.  Snakes are good.  (*cries, and mumbles*)


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