Live or Die, We Belong to the Lord—Romans 14:5-8
"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord" (Romans 14:5-8)
As believers we have incredible freedom in Christ Jesus. The longer we walk with Him the more liberty we will experience because He patiently shows and encourages us how to tear down barriers that stand in the way. This is why we should not get hung up on minor things. Many Christians like to argue and discuss the small stuff instead of walking in the truth they already know. Instead we should be fully convinced in our own minds what is right and decided that whatever we do we are doing it for the Lord. The difference is the condition of the heart.
Paul said in Colossians, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" ( Colossians 3:17 ). What a difference this perspective can make. It doesn't matter what you do if your motive is wrong. You can serve as a missionary on foreign soil and give all your money to feed the poor, but if your heart is not true then what good is it? The Lord looks on the heart and sees the intention behind the actions. In the same way, insignificant things in the eyes of the world with pure motives please the Lord because it shows a changed heart, warm and responsive to His kingdom.
What a marvelous concept! We do not have to worry about what we eat and drink or which day is holy or special. We simply decide that whatever we do we do as worship before the Lord and let others do the same. We do not belong to ourselves, we belong to God. "So whether we live or die we belong to the Lord". Understanding this will free us to continue walking in truth. Paul said, "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" ( Romans 14:17 ). These are the things we should pursue and obtain. The more we do not get hung up on trivial matters the more we will understand those things and see them in operation.
I am so thankful that God looks on the heart instead of outward appearances. He reassures us of this in his word, "The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." ( I Samuel 16:7 ). It has been this way since the beginning. Today, I pray that you decide in your heart not to get wrapped up in outward appearances or in what you do or don't do, but condition your heart to be soft and pliable before the Lord. Proverbs says, "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man" ( Proverbs 27:19 ). Jesus put it this way, "For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks" ( Luke 6:45 ). If we work on our heart and get it pure and our motives right then our actions will reflect the condition of our hearts. May this truth bless and free you, knowing that everything you do you can do for the Lord and His glory, amen!