Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:18-39 (day four)
It is one of the greatest passages of hope in the Bible…Romans 8:38-39. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. All things have been created by Him, therefore, there is nothing that is stronger or more powerful than Him. By faith, Christ has come to dwell in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can take us away from His indwelling. He will always be with us throughout eternity. Paul was a man of unshakable confidence in our eternal position in God. How about us? Do we live our lives with unshakable confidence that we will always be with God in eternity?
Re: Verse reading–Romans 6 (day three)
“Do not let sin reign in your mortal body.” Sin is not just in your mind. It’s in your body. Yes, sin–that dimension of evil that we associate with secret desires and private thoughts and internal struggles–is also a very physical reality. The body is not just a marionette operating helplessly at the end of the strings that the mind controls. It has appetites and habits and ways that require little to no thought from your mind or direction from your will. The Lord not only intends to save your spirit; he intends to save your body as well. That’s what resurrection is all about. The old hymn says, “Take my hands…take my feet…take my voice…take my lips….” Will you confess the Lord as Lord of your body?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 5:1-11 (day five)
Romans 5:6 “For while we were still helpless”. I’ve seen glimpses of “Helpless” in a few scenes from my experiences: Over 16 years ago- our newborn baby girl who was unable to feed, clean, or clothe herself. Recently- a terrified father sitting in the front passenger seat unable to turn, stop, or accelerate the vehicle while aforementioned daughter learns how to drive/aim a car. There is a common thread in these pictures. Both helpless characters in these pictures were “unable” to have any control to influence, change, or fix their circumstance. We don’t like to think of ourselves as “helpless”. Yet, in a spiritual sense, that’s how the Scripture describes us, and how the Lord sees us. We are all Helpless in that we are unable to change or correct our spiritually dead condition. What a kind and generous God we have, that offers life (rescue, hope, and salvation) to us, the helpless.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 5:1-11 (day three)
“Hope does not put us to shame.” Sometimes, a person’s thinking about the future is rooted in naiveté, not reality: The child who counts on the arrival of a parent who has in fact abandoned her, for instance. But sometimes, a person’s vision of the future isn’t rooted in what should happen, but it is instead rooted in what must happen. This is the place where the prophets stood. They presented not what should happen, or even merely what was going to happen. They presented what must happen, because thus saith the Lord. Paul stands in that same place. He says our assurance of salvation is rooted in nothing less than God’s glory–His character, goodness, and His being. Therefore, hope is is not a wish or a dream. It is our knowledge of what must be. Because God.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 1:18-32 (day two)
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” vs. 20
One of the things I like about social media is the ability to share pictures. Pictures you have taken yourself, or ones you have found that capture your heart. A Texas sunset, mountains covered in snow, a colorful bird, and the babies-so many babies. Often the individual that posted the pictures will marvel at the beauty of creation. Design, form, structure, and artistry are all a part of this miracle we share.
This is why the architects of the great cathedrals would create such vast and grand structures to worship the Lord. They were designed to take your breath away and make you think how great our God truly is.
Man is without excuse. We need only step outside and look around to see evidence of the Lord. We can try to justify our desires and our actions, but the truth of creation will ultimately demand that we reconcile his plan against our own. Whatever it is, how could it measure up to God’s perfection? Let it go.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 1:18-32 (day one)
“For the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the ungodliness and wickedness of men.”—v 18.
Can the LOVE of God be reconciled with His WRATH? Does the Eternal One have two perfectly balanced, internally consistent aspects to His nature? “Yes”, say the Apostles.
Wrath is the other side of God’s love. Protective. Strong.
None of us is surprised, or offended, to see a Father rage against an enemy who threatens the daughter he loves. So, God rages against sin and its terrible consequences. Except, He doesn’t rage. His wrath is not a burst of anger. (wrong word in Greek). Wrath is a settled, fierce, eternal opposition toward evil. Dangerously calm it is.
Two attitudes are desirable from us toward this Great Mind, Great Power. “You shall LOVE the Lord with all your heart.”—Deuteronomy 6:5.
“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, He is to be FEARED.”—Psalm 96:4
Re:Verse reading–Romans 1:1-17 (day seven)
“Paul . . .called to be an apostle. . .to all who are in Rome. . .and called to be saints. v 1, 6.
It is finally here! September 6. “Forward in RE Verse”. The beginning of a new year for our church. New classes. New schedule. A new study in Romans. Exciting!
In preparation for this day, the leadership team sponsored an “all call” initiative. The goal was for every member to receive a phone call (or text or email or tweet) inviting them to be a part of the new, next chapter.
It makes sense. By the CALL of Christ that we become Christians. We are “those who love Him, who are CALLED according to His purpose”–Romans 8:28. By the CALL of Christ we know our assignment. Apostle. Saints.
Did you get a call? This week? From one a leader in our fellowship? Hopefully. Have you, over time, received a call from the Lord? Yes! Yes, you have!
Re: Verse reading–2 Corinthians 5:11-21; 1 Peter 3:15-16; Colossians 4:2-6 (day seven)
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something is more important than fear.”–Franklin Roosevelt.
It is a virtue ignored in the modern world. Dismissed. Sometimes, even by believers. The fear of God! A holy self-suspicion. A fear of God’s unbending and coming and holy judgement on our lives and choices. A fear of offending Him, or making (and believing) excuses. Not alarm and anxiety, but assurance of mercy offered to those who serve Him with sincerity. Our Re: Verse passage this week says, “Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.”–2 Corinthians 5:11. Do we? Do we know this fear as a real and motivating experience? Does it MOVE our hearts and DISLODGE our silence? Does it cause us to face our fear of rejection because we fear something ever worse? Is Paul alone here or do we also know the fear of the Lord?
Re: Verse reading–2 Corinthians 5:11-21; 1 Peter 3:15-16; Colossians 4:2-6 (day three)
“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others.” The clock tower of a church in Dallas reads “Night Cometh”. Wow. What a killjoy for a church’s image. Well, it’s not culturally attractive, but it sure is scripturally sound. These are in fact the very words of Jesus in John 9:4. If we were to consider with greater seriousness the reality of the impending judgment of God on this world, we might worry less about image and soften our hearts more towards people we encounter on a daily basis. We could make a practice of speaking these words as part of our morning devotion each day: Night cometh. How would these words begin to shape the way we live with others?
Re: Verse reading–2 Corinthians 5:11-21; 1 Peter 3:15-16; Colossians 4:2-6 (day two)
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ 2 Corinth. 5:20 But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you 1 Peter 3:15
One of the best jobs I had as an undergraduate was to be a Student Ambassador for my university. It was a way to welcome incoming and interested students and families to the school. We would take them on tours of the campus, set up meetings with professors, and answer questions about campus life and the university in general. As a result we were required to know quite a bit about the school. This knowledge was very helpful when you were asked about a subject usually unfamiliar to you. The reward came the next fall when you saw those individuals now on campus as students.
We are all called to be ambassadors for Christ. It is our job to be ready in season or out to give an account of our love for Jesus. By God’s spirit and our love of the Word we can be ready to help others have that same kind of love.