You Can Provide Clean Water to Persecuted Christians

Romans 14; Romans 15; Romans 16

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Romans 14

1 Accept those whose faith is weak. Don't judge them where you have differences of opinion.
2 The faith of some people allows them to eat anything. But others eat only vegetables because their faith is weak.
3 People who eat everything must not look down on those who do not. And people who don't eat everything must not judge those who do. God has accepted them.
4 Who are you to judge someone else's servants? Whether they are faithful or not is their own master's concern. They will be faithful, because the Lord has the power to make them faithful.
5 Some people consider one day to be more holy than another. Others think all days are the same. Each person should be absolutely sure in his own mind.
6 Those who think one day is special do it to honor the Lord. Those who eat meat do it to honor the Lord. They give thanks to God. Those who don't eat meat do it to honor the Lord. They also give thanks to God.
7 We don't live for ourselves alone. And we don't die all by ourselves.
8 If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
9 Christ died and came back to life. He did this to become the Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 Now then, who are you to judge your brother or sister? Why do you look down on them? We will all stand in God's courtroom to be judged.
11 It is written, " 'You can be sure that I live,' says the Lord. 'And you can be just as sure that every knee will bow down in front of me. Every tongue will tell the truth to God.' " (Isaiah 45:23)
12 So we will all have to explain to God the things we have done.
13 Let us stop judging one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put anything in your brother's way that would make him trip and fall.
14 I am absolutely sure that no food is "unclean" in itself. I say this as one who belongs to the Lord Jesus. But some people may consider a thing to be "unclean." If they do, it is "unclean" for them.
15 Your brothers and sisters may be upset by what you eat. If they are, you are no longer acting as though you love them. So don't destroy them by what you eat. Christ died for them.
16 Don't let something you consider good be spoken of as if it were evil.
17 God's kingdom has nothing to do with eating or drinking. It is a matter of being right with God. It brings the peace and joy the Holy Spirit gives.
18 Those who serve Christ in this way are pleasing to God. They are pleasing to people too.
19 So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build each other up.
20 Don't destroy the work of God because of food. All food is "clean." But it is wrong for you to eat anything that causes someone else to trip and fall.
21 Don't eat meat if it will cause your brothers and sisters to fall. Don't drink wine or do anything else that will make them fall.
22 No matter what you think about those things, keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who do not have to feel guilty for what they allow.
23 But those who have doubts are guilty if they eat. Their eating is not based on faith. Everything that is not based on faith is sin.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Romans 15

1 We who have strong faith should help the weak with their problems. We should not please only ourselves.
2 We should all please our neighbors. Let us do what is good for them. Let us build them up.
3 Even Christ did not please himself. It is written, "Those who make fun of you have made fun of me also."(Psalm 69:9)
4 Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us strength to go on. They cheer us up and give us hope.
5 Our God is a God who strengthens you and cheers you up. May he help you agree with each other as you follow Christ Jesus.
6 Then you can give glory to God with one heart and voice. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Christ has accepted you. So accept one another in order to bring praise to God.
8 I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews. He teaches us that God is true. He shows us that God will keep the promises he made to the founders of our nation.
9 Jesus became a servant of the Jews so that people who are not Jews could give glory to God for his mercy. It is written, "I will praise you among those who aren't Jews. I will sing praises to you." (2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:49)
10 Again it says, "You non-Jews, be full of joy. Be joyful together with God's people." (Deuteronomy 32:43)
11 And again it says, "All you non-Jews, praise the Lord. All you nations, sing praises to him." (Psalm 117:1)
12 And Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will grow up quickly. He will rule over the nations. Those who aren't Jews will put their hope in him." (Isaiah 11:10)
13 May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.
14 My brothers and sisters, I am sure that you are full of goodness. What you know is complete. You are able to teach one another.
15 I have written to you very boldly about some things. I wanted you to think about them again. The grace of God has allowed me
16 to serve Christ Jesus among those who aren't Jews. My duty as a priest is to preach God's good news. Then the non-Jews will become an offering that pleases God. The Holy Spirit will make the offering holy.
17 Because I belong to Christ Jesus, I can take pride in my work for God.
18 I will not try to speak of anything except what Christ has done through me. He has been leading those who aren't Jews to obey God. He has been doing this by what I have said and done.
19 He has given me power to do signs and miracles. He has given me the power of the Holy Spirit. From Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the good news about Christ.
20 I have always wanted to preach the good news where Christ was not known. I don't want to build on what someone else has started.
21 It is written, "Those who were not told about him will understand. Those who have not heard will know what it all means." (Isaiah 52:15)
22 That's why I have often been kept from coming to you.
23 Now there is no more place for me to work in those areas. For many years I have been longing to see you.
24 So I plan to see you when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while I am passing through. And I hope you will help me on my journey there. But first I want to enjoy being with you for a while.
25 Now I am on my way to Jerusalem to serve God's people there.
26 The believers in Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to take an offering for those who were poor among God's people in Jerusalem.
27 They were happy to do it. And of course they owe it to them. Those who aren't Jews have shared from the Jews' spiritual blessings. So the non-Jews should share their earthly blessings with the Jews.
28 I want to finish my task. I want to make sure that the poor in Jerusalem have received the offering. Then I will go to Spain. On my way I will visit you.
29 I know that when I come to you, I will come with the full blessing of Christ.
30 Brothers and sisters, I am asking you through the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray for me with the love the Holy Spirit provides.
31 Pray that I will be saved from those in Judea who do not believe. Pray that my work in Jerusalem will be accepted by God's people there.
32 Then, as God has planned, I will come to you with joy. Together we will be renewed.
33 May the God who gives peace be with you all. Amen.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.

Romans 16

1 I would like you to welcome our sister Phoebe. She serves the church in Cenchrea.
2 I ask you to receive her as one who belongs to the Lord. Receive her in the way God's people should. Give her any help she may need from you. She has been a great help to many people, including me.
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila. They work together with me in serving Christ Jesus.
4 They have put their lives in danger for me. I am thankful for them. So are all the non-Jewish churches.
5 Greet also the church that meets in the house of Priscilla and Aquila.
6 Greet Mary. She worked very hard for you.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives. They have been in prison with me. They are leaders among the apostles. They became believers in Christ before I did.
8 Greet Ampliatus. I love him as a brother in the Lord.
9 Greet Urbanus. He works together with me in serving Christ. And greet my dear friend Stachys.
10 Greet Apelles. Even though he was put to the test, he remained faithful as one who belonged to Christ.
11 Greet Herodion, my relative.
12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa. Those women work hard for the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus. He is a choice believer in the Lord. And greet his mother. She has been like a mother to me too.
14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon and Hermes. Greet Patrobas, Hermas and the believers with them.
15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister. Greet Olympas and all of God's people with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send their greetings.
17 I am warning you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who try to keep you from staying together. They want to trip you up. They teach you things opposite to what you have learned. Stay away from them.
18 People like that are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving only themselves. With smooth talk and with words they don't mean they fool people who don't know any better.
19 Everyone has heard that you obey God. So you have filled me with joy. I want you to be wise about what is good. And I want you to have nothing to do with what is evil.
20 The God who gives peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21 Timothy works together with me. He sends his greetings to you. So do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.
22 I, Tertius, wrote down this letter. I greet you as a believer in the Lord.
23 Gaius sends you his greetings. He has welcomed me and the whole church here into his house. Erastus is the director of public works here in the city. He sends you his greetings. Our brother Quartus also greets you.
25 May God receive glory. He is able to strengthen your faith because of the good news I preach. It is the message about Jesus Christ. It is in keeping with the mystery that was hidden for a very long time.
26 The mystery has now been made known through the writings of the prophets. The eternal God commanded that it be made known. He wanted all nations to believe and obey him.
27 May the only wise God receive glory forever through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Holy Bible, New International Reader's Version® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica.   All rights reserved worldwide.