Friday, 8/25/2017

 

Hi There!

 

Last Saturday was a full and wonderful day. At 8 a.m. we had four guys show up to began the process of taking out and re-installing seven doors into our parsonage remodel project. Lee Rausch led the project and installed all of the doors with the expert help of Joe Goetz. Those guys worked so well together. At 8 a.m. the new doors were unpacked. We thank God for Rob Szwedo for his time of sanding, staining, and putting several coats of polyurethane on each door. He owns General Finishers in East Troy, Wisconsin and sells the staining products. They perfectly matched the cupboards and cabinets that we had installed earlier in the summer. All seven doors were installed by Lee & Joe as Collin Takkinen and I continued to cut the bottoms of the door jams and doors to fit each area where the doors were placed. Linda was out shopping during the late morning and afternoon. When she came home she was surprised that all of the doors were in place and looked GREAT! When she walked through into the kitchen and went down the hallway, she shrieked with joy and delight at the job that had been completed. We were not done completely at that time and the trim had to be put around the door frames. She is one happy woman!!! We are thankful for the Jesus and Jesus, Jr. Castro who also came along to help with the project in the early morning to get us started in the right direction. We thank God for the gifts to allow us to get one step closer to a finished project. More trim boards need to be put in place, the base boards need to be put on the cabinets and walls. There are small jobs that yet need to be done. We are thankful for God’s provision of prayers, finances, and labor of time to get us to this point. Keep praying. We need about another $5,000 to finish the project financially…you can pray about this matter also. Thank you!!!

 

1 Corinthians 8:10-13 - But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating[a] in an idol's temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 11 And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers[c] and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.

 

Subject:  How Eating is a Sin

 

Yesterday we learned that all foods are good to eat. However, Paul ends this chapter by saying that there is one exception to this rule. He tells the recipients of this letter to be careful (watch out) that they do not take the right (authority, freedom of choice) to become a stumbling block (provide an occasion for someone to sin). Whoa! If I eat certain foods, it may cause someone to sin?

 

In the day in which Paul lived in a time that some of the believers were associated with idol worshiping. They would had a pattern of behavior of sacrificing animals to their “god” and then would take the remainder of the meat and sell it in the marketplace to shoppers. When they became a Christian they had a weak conscience realizing that this was a common practice. To eat such meat in their eyes was a sin.

 

Paul already stated that “the eating of food offered to idols, is not an issue in God’s sight (v.4). However, if a person with a weak conscience sees a person having knowledge eating meat offered in an idol’s temple, he will not be encouraged and he will be destroyed (ruined) – v.10. So, by your knowledge (freedom to eat) the weak person is ruined. This will result in sinning against your brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

The even deeper results is that one sins against Christ (v.12). Paul said, Therefore, if food makes (causes) my brother to stumble (a cause for stumbling), I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble (sin) – v.13. The application for our lives may not be about eating meat, but it may be about other matters.

 

One New Year’s Eve early in my ministry here at Grace Bible Church, we had a small party. We were playing games and I was involved in a card game with others. An older couple came into the large room with a lot of laughing and fun going on and I noticed that they were somber. I talked with them later and found out that they were offended by the card playing that was going on. I later received a tract that talked about cards, dice, and other forms of gambling. It was because of that evening that I was careful about playing cards or dice with those in our church. I did not want to offend any other believer. We made sure that card playing did not go on during church fellowships like we had that one New Year’s Eve. This may be an application to this passage for us since we are not concerned about meat offered to idols in America.

 

Caring about Others,

 

Pastor Les

 

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.