2 Chronicles 29:1-17; Romans 14:1-9; Psalms 24:7-10; Proverbs 10:18
NT: “Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters… One person judges one day to be more important than another day. Someone else judges every day to be the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for himself, and no one dies for himself. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and returned to life for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living.” (Romans 14:1, 5-9 CSB)
Whenever people are gathered together, disagreement is inevitable. That was the case in the Roman church. The church in Rome was a cosmopolitan body made up of redeemed Jews and redeemed gentiles who had all come to faith in Christ. Because of their different backgrounds, they had different traditions and convictions. Jews came from a tradition of strict dietary laws and honored days on the calendar. The gentiles did not. To the gentile believers, the Jewish believers seemed strict and legalistic. To the Jewish believers, the gentile believers seemed undisciplined and irreverent. As the body of Christ, we are called to love one another and walk in unity. Thankfully, unity does not require unanimity. We can love one another and walk in unity without being unanimous on everything. How do we do that? Firstly, we need to welcome anyone and everyone who is in the faith – and not argue over things that may divide us. Secondly, we must submit everything we do, say, and think to Christ as our Lord. When we are in Christ, Christ is the head of the body. We are no longer our own, but Christ’s. We are no longer entitled to our own opinions, our own beliefs, our own preferences – we submit everything to the Lord and allow Him to judge whether what we are thinking or desiring is pleasing and acceptable to Him. Christ died and returned to life for this: that He might be Lord of all. If we welcome one another with acceptance and live under the Lordship of Christ in everything, we will love one another and walk in unity, and the world will know that we truly are disciples of Christ.
Psalms: “Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, ancient doors! Then the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates! Rise up, ancient doors! Then the King of glory will come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord of Armies, he is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalms 24:7-10 CSB)
During King David’s time, the gates of a city were much like the city halls of our day. All city business was conducted at the city gates where all could witness what was transpiring. When David called the gates to open up wide to receive the King of Glory, he was calling the entire city… the entire populace to open up their doors to receive the victorious King. Who is this victorious King of Glory? He is the Lord. He is the strong and mighty Lord. He is the Lord of the heavenly hosts – the Commander in Chief of the heavenly army. He is the Lord Jesus Christ. (Read Revelation 19:11-16.) When we as God’s people… when we as people redeemed through faith by the blood of Jesus Christ… when we as people born again into God’s family through Christ’s victorious resurrection… we we the church open up the doors and welcome in Christ as Lord, He will come in. Many believers pray incessantly, begging God to send revival to our nation and to the world. God gave our pastor a word years ago – that God isn’t waiting to be begged… He is waiting to be Lord. I believe that word to be true. When we as the church truly recognize Christ as Lord of the church and Lord of our lives – when we open up the gates and fully receive His glorious kingship, then the Lord will come into our midst and we will see genuine revival.