Scripture Read: Romans 14:19-23 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. 20 Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. 21 It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. 22 The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
Application: How free are we? God did not give clear directions on each specific area of our lives. He gave principles that cover how we conduct our lives, but leaves us to decide many of those specifics to us. What we do with that freedom makes a strong statement about our maturity. Many times we “tear” down what God has built – what does that mean?
Tear - καταλύω katalúō; From the basic sense “to put down,” “to destroy” in various contexts (Mk. 14:58; 2 Cor. 5:1; Gal. 2:18). It can also have the nuance “to frustrate,” as in Acts 5:38–39 A second meaning is then “to invalidate,” e.g., the law in Mt. 5:17. To render vain, deprive of success, bring to naught. to subvert, overthrow. 1b1a of institutions, forms of government, laws, etc., to deprive of force, annul, abrogate, discard.
This is speaking of our liberty and the use of it in the Body of believers – We are not to ruin the work of God in someone by our sloppy handling of liberty – It is wrong for our freedom to cause the growth in a young believer to spiral downward. At the same time this passage can be very important to us. We are told very clearly that when it comes to areas of our life that the scriptures gives no specific commands, we need to make sure we have an understanding for ourselves what God wants us to do. What freedom. No “one size fits all”. God makes liberty based on the individual and His call for that individual. Everyone of us need to take the time to examine our life and see what God has freed us to do. Our liberty is a stewardship, not a right. Thanks Dad that You chose to allow us such freedoms. So may false beliefs tell their followers what to do in every facet of their life, even how many times to pray or what to eat or drink. You have not done that Lord – You leave that up to us to decide. AMAZING! A God that trusts His followers! You are incredible Lord! We love You!
* Meditation Questions: When was the last time you thank God for your liberties? When you decide you can do something that someone else in the Body cannot do – how does that make you feel? What does that say?
 Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. (1995). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (544). Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans.
 Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.