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A Stumbling Block

“but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness,”

‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭1‬:‭23‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The idea of a stumbling block is something that causes someone to fall away, something that a person simply cannot and will not accept.

The idea that the messiah would come and suffer and die and NOT rescue the Jews from their earthly woes (Roman occupation) was something that they could not and would not accept.

Have you ever said or heard someone else say, “if that’s how God is I want nothing to do with Him”. In these cases, there’s no real effort to understand or come to know how a difficult truth could be true. They have simply decided that whatever this truth may be, if that’s how God is, He’s not “my God”. That’s a stumbling block. That’s where the Jews were with Jesus.

Examples of stumbling blocks:

God would never ask me to choose between Him and my family (ask Abraham and Isaac), read what Jesus said in Luke 14 about loving anyone more than Him.

God wouldn’t want me to remain in an unhappy marriage (read 1 Corinthians 7 and what Jesus said about divorce).

God would never ask me to separate from my “Christian” friend walking in willful rebellion against God (read what Jesus said in Matt 18:15-17 and what Paul wrote in 1 Cor 5:9-13).

These are but a few difficult truths that can become stumbling blocks for us unless we come to grips with the fact that God is good and His wisdom is greater than ours. We obey even the hard truths, not because it’s easy. But because we trust God… and we trust that if He commands us to do it, it must be what’s best.

What if by honoring God first before my family he uses me to illustrate the seriousness of trusting Him and in doing so draws them to Him in time.

What if by staying in a difficult marriage He teaches me through the difficulty of my spouse how I have treated Christ? And in so doing brings me to repentance and heals my marriage (this was me).

What if by refusing to make waves with a professing brother, that brother’s heart is hardened by sin and their conscience seared and they depart from the faith?

We obey Christ and don’t allow His commands to become stumbling blocks to us because we KNOW HIM. We know how far He was willing to go and what pain and betrayal He was willing to endure to redeem us. I know He loves my family and I trust Him with His command. I know He sees my pain in this marriage and loves me. In fact He loves me so much that He will use any earthly method to speak to me about my everlasting destiny. I know He loves both that sinner walking in willful sin and those he is in close contact with and He will do what is necessary to save His sheep and preserve His flock.

What makes a stumbling block a stumbling block is whether we know and thus trust the one in question.

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