DCLM Daily Manna 10 December 2023 Devotional By Pastor W. F. Kumuyi — Resist Contention
TOPIC: Resist Contention (DCLM Daily Manna 10 December 2023)
KEY VERSE: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
TEXT: Galatians 2:11-21 (KJV)
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Contentions or disagreements among believers must not be permitted. Such must be promptly extirpated once they arise. Instead, believers should edify and encourage one another through proper conduct, excellent disposition and rancour-free mien. Strife is out of place for the heaven-bound saint because, “The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with”.
When Paul saw the error of his fellow apostle, Peter, in engaging in double standards in his relationship with the Gentiles in Antioch, he spoke against it. He “withstood (Peter) to the face, because he was to be blamed”. Paul did not hesitate to draw Peter’s attention to his act of indiscretion. Nor did a humble Peter interpret the rebuke as a personal attack to spark a reprisal. The affair was not a messy one to raise questions about their salvation.
Both were “crucified with Christ” who lived in them. The presence of the Lord in their lives gave no allowance for disruptive and aggressive disputes unbecoming of heaven-bound pilgrims. The two apostles displayed Christian maturity and meekness as taught by the Lord. Later, Peter, in an epistle speaks of Paul in complimentary terms, describing him as “our beloved brother Paul… (with) wisdom given unto him”.
Only genuine believers can overcome the temptation to be dragged into barren arguments and debates that tend to bring division among the brethren and reproach to the church. Away from the church, believers must exercise admirable restraint in our dealings with those not of the faith of Christ. We need to infect the world with the love of the Prince of peace. Our personal Christian credentials must speak eloquently louder than the precepts we routinely chant.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
“The servant of the Lord must not strive”.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR
Deeper Life Daily Manna was written by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.