SEPTEMBER 3
  
Today 's Bible Reading
     I Samuel 27
     I Corinthians 8
     Ezekiel 6
     Psalms 44
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
      ''But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak." (I Corinthians 8:9)
 
TABOO OR NOT TABOO
      Do you ever face the question of right or wrong as a believer? If not, you may be the only Christian who failed to have that problem. It was certainly an issue in the early church, and especially the Church at Corinth. They especially found it questionable when they were not able to purchase meat for their family's dinner at a much lower cost simply because it had been sacrificed to pagan idols. Paul's teaching was setting this straight.
      There were some in the church who were so puffed up with their own spirituality and knowledge that they considered themselves to be super-spiritual and to know all the answers.  But to many sincere believers, this was a difficult issue.
      Every day of our lives, we face the same kind of difficulty with other issues that are a part of our modem culture. What are the principles that provide the answers for us today? They are, of course, the same principles that were set forth in all of Paul's teaching.
      The importance of conviction. (Verses 1-4) For them, the place to begin was the deep conviction that there is but one God and the pagan idols really meant nothing. You must begin with the conviction that God's Word is truth and the culture is filled with lies.
      Paul was also anxious for them to understand the individuality of conscience. (Verses 5-8) There are always two kinds of Christians in every church - those who are strong, and those who are weak. ''However, there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled." (I Corinthians 8:7)
      Because there are weaker believers around us, Paul brings to us the inconsiderateness of compromise. (verses 9-13) The Holy Spirit is pointing out to us in this passage that it is much better to deny ourselves some privileges regardless of how innocent it may seem to us, because of our love for the weaker brother. We are not to live our lives on the basis of legalism or license.  Our Christian liberty is to place certain limitations upon our life because of the law of love.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
      We rejoice in what God is doing in Bolivia with the Ayrama and the Quecheua, responding to the Gospel in large numbers. With the growth comes needs and challenges. These include illiteracy, lack of understanding of the basics for true Christianity, apathy and widespread compromise with the social evils of fornication, family breakdown, violence and alcohol abuse.  Pray for spiritual knowledge and revival among these peoples.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
One child said to another, ''If one of us would get off this tricycle I could ride it much better."
Dr. Henrietta C. Mears