For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17, KJV)
Paul addressed a problem the Roman believers were dealing with in their days. They had serious debates about what foods to eat, and even some holidays to keep. They were quarreling over food or special days. The Apostle Paul, with his usual divine wisdom, addressed this issue in the verse above and said “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”.
He pointedly distinguished the outward formalities of Christianity from its substance. Eating or not eating certain types of food, or keeping certain holidays does not make you more acceptable to God than the other who does not. God is looking for righteousness, peace, joy produced by His Spirit in our lives.
Food or special days might have been a big deal with the Roman Christians in their days and certainly do not have a similar degree of importance to most of us. However, it is not the food we should be concerned about here but the truth. God is teaching us that we should not focus on externals but on what matters to Him. I should emphasize here that this truth has been abused both ways. There are believers today, like the Romans, who are making a big deal out of things that have no eternal value with God. On the other side is a more dangerous group who say nothing matters, so anything is acceptable. Neither camp belongs to you.
This is the message: God is looking for righteous living, peace with one another, joy in your heart, love for Him and for the other person next to you, etc. This is what the kingdom of God is.
Does God care if you like eating meat or you would rather be a vegetarian? He certainly does not! However, does He care if you condemn those who eat meat or despise those who like to be vegetarians? Yes, He does! Does He care if your choice of food is affecting your health? Yes, He does! Can you see when it does not matter and when it matters?
APPLY THE WORD
Learn to focus on what matters to the Spirit of the Lord. Seek the Kingdom, not external religious rules. Choose to live in peace with your brother or sister. That is more important to God than for you to seek to prove to them that the way they do their church services is not Biblical!
Ask the Father to help you be a kingdom believer and not a religious Christian.
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