Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Suggested Reading: Romans 14

(click scripture link to read online)



The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum (plaza) surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. For centuries it was the centre of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions and elections, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, gladiatorial matches, and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city's great men. This teeming heart of ancient Rome has been called the most celebrated meeting place in the world...and in all history. The Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations, attracting numerous sightseers.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verse: Romans 14:17

…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

What a contrast! …the kingdom of man (Rome pictured above) and the Kingdom of God. Man is impressed by great buildings, pomp and circumstance. God is impressed by humble people who can worship Him fully under a tree, or anywhere.

The emphasis in today’s reading is about food in Rome. Almost all the meat and vegetables sold in the markets had been presented to the gods as a sacrifice. This offended the consciences, particularly of Jews (remember the dietary laws we read about in Leviticus). Many new believers in Jesus who started off in peace and joy have had their freedom withered away by legalism. Paul deals with this issue in several of his letters, notably Galatians. Here, in Romans, he raises the same issue and warns believers against being bound up in rules about appropriate food and drink. While the legalist may strive for righteousness, he or she will never achieve it. This matter caused Paul to take a stand against Peter (read Galatians 2:11-21). Paul declared that Christ died in vain if righteousness comes through the Law.


Lord God, I’m learning that holy living comes through Your Holy Spirit living within me, not from keeping religious rules and regulations, not eating certain foods, etc. Please fill me up more and more with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. By faith I am truly free to be a faithful follower of Jesus in Your Kingdom! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!


I don’t believe that when Peter and Paul disagreed they considered forming a separate religious denomination. As a teenager, I saw the once mighty soul-winning “Holiness Movement” almost destroyed by legalism (e.g. a certain way of dressing, etc.). Perhaps the “Old Order Mennonites” would be a modern example of outward righteousness. The main body of these precious people have moved away from these restrictions and are a great example of “peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” The “holier than thou” attitude produced by my own efforts is a huge turn-off for those people with whom I want to share Jesus. Every morning I open my heart to a new infilling of God’s Word and His Spirit. Then I just live life to the full. What peace! What joy! Early in my Christian life, I felt that I was dragging myself around by the scruff of my neck, trying to live as I should. One day, when I was 20 years old, I said to God, “I can’t live this way anymore!” I heard that inner voice of the Lord say to me, “Good, now relax and let Me live in you and through you.” What a wonderful freedom! I began to experience “peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Yours for being filled, as much as our capacities will allow, with the Word of God and with the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please grow my capacity. Amen!


P.S. Over the past few days I placed a link here to some videos. I’ve been asked by some of my blog readers to continue this. So I’ve asked our Crossroads team for a list of video clips that have been digitized for online purposes (like for our new website crossroads360.com). Perhaps we’ll succeed in enhancing the blog this way more often in the future through video clips dealing with topics from our blog readings. For example, here is a video regarding legalism by my son, Rev. Ron Mainse (click here). Enjoy!

12 thoughts on “Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  1. Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (NKJV)

    Aren’t we humans odd creatures? On the one hand we want great freedoms and liberties in Christ. On the other hand we often build up a stack of rules and procedures so high in the church, you would never recognize the freedoms and liberties which are found in Christ. I think that somehow by our very nature, some of us like the security of feeling directed, controlled and like recognizable confines of a box and how the rules work within that box. I don’t know, but perhaps that’s why cults flourish. But I don’t see this only in cults, I see this thinking in many of the churches which surround us; this is very sad. Maybe, just maybe God knows this, and He wants to start a new work, a new fresh venture, perhaps God wants us to rely entirely on Him alone and not on regulations and rule books which have become as a modern day law in many churches. God is so very marvelous and good, His thinking cannot be locked-in to our human modes of thinking or practices, no matter how hard we might try to do so. I’m not saying to abandon the church organization, I am saying, if our worship is stale, man centred, preacher centred or rule-book centred … move on and find a fresh, creative church, one that is thinking outside-the-box and full of life, centred on Jesus Christ, prayer and God’s word. Amen!

    • good comments Scott, thank you. I am one who likes some structure and organization…a schedule of sorts. It helps keep me focused, such as these daily blogs do. But such structure and rules should NOT be to the extent that it hinders the move of the Holy Spirit in our own lives or in the church.
      I have been to churches who are so structured there is no room for the Holy Spirit to move, but at the same time I know of a church I once attended whose Pastor started thinking outside the box too much and got so far away from God’s leading, it has taken a few years and many hurting and broken hearts for what is left of the congregation to make it’s way back to the security and teaching of God, and only by being under new leadership.
      Sometimes our stale worship comes from too much dependance on the church/Pastor to feed us, and/or neglecting our own personal devotional times.

  2. Thank you David and Reynold for the wonderful photos and explanations (descriptions). I have never traveled to the Middle East and I find them to be so interesting and informative.

  3. Hi David

    I will share this scripture teaching with mine friend -7 day adventist-he allways qoutes If you love me keep mine comandments, and goes back to Old testament , law and works etc, not Grace
    Thank you David keep going Blessings to you
    Amazing Grace

  4. Our reading today, your prayer and Rev. Ron Mainse, clearly emphasize it is about our relationship with Christ that is paramount. Rules invite judgementalism, a dangerous combination for many.

  5. Rules and regulations tend to take the focus off of Christ and put it on us. Rules and regulations can also ship-wreck faith. A genuine relationship with Christ is all we need, He gave us the Holy Spirit who is our Help and Comforter. Thankyou David, Reynold, Ron and fellow bloggers!!!!!

  6. I think the links to video clips related to the subject of the daily blog are a GREAT IDEA! Thank you for the additional resources you make available. The description you gave of the reasons for the particular mentioning of food being acceptable or not are very helpful. I don’t often get the background to scriptures like you gave here, and it helps to stop overinterpretation.
    I still have trouble with legalism, but I firmly believe if I have doubts about doing something, I shouldn’t participate, BUT still not condemn those who do participate. The only thing I think we should take in consideration is, does the believer choose to believe this way because this is the way he wants God to be, or does the believer believe this way because this is his soul searched conviction.

  7. David, your blog continues to be such a blessing to me each day, even though I rarely comment. Keep up the good work and may God continue to use you to bless and encourage your fellow pilgrims who follow your blog. Enjoy Florida! (We’re not suffering here in southern Ontario either………no snow anywhere in sight.)

  8. Thank you, David, for always highlighting the most important verses in each chapter. Romans 14 has been a great challenge for me over the years that our attitudes and actions should never be a stumbling block for new Christians.
    Do I understand where thy are in their Christian walk, do I know where they are coming from, what are sesitive issues for them and why.? I may have a lot of answers, but do I understand their questions? We can only speak the Truth of the Word in love to them once we have built a caring relationship with people.
    They do not care how much we know until they know how much we care about their growing in faith. We love the daily routine of re-reading the familiar Bible books and look forward to those we have not studied in recent years.

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