Re:Verse reading–Romans 14:1-21 (day six)
In Romans 14, Paul encourages the strong to “walk in love.” Walking in love tends to change a lot of things, mainly how you relate to others. You are less inclined to think of yourself, and more inclined to think about your neighbor. Your rights, or personal liberties take a back seat to their physical and spiritual needs. You are less likely to say, “grow up,” or “get over it,” and more likely to say things like, “let me help you,” or “I can show you the way.” When you walk in love you are willing to “become all things to all people;” you will slow down rather than speed up, you will remove obstacles along the way, you will serve rather than be served, you may even lay down your life all for the sake of love.
Will you be strong and walk in love today?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 13 (day six)
Paul sums up his teaching in Romans 13 by admonishing us to “put on Jesus.” Regardless of who is in authority over us, or the type of government, we are simply to be like Jesus. Whether we face justice or injustice, we are to be like Jesus. We are to live for another Kingdom altogether, under the authority of one who is greater than all earthly rulers. This, of course, means that often we look otherworldly in how we conduct our lives. That’s just it, Paul is far more concerned with our righteousness than he is about the state of our government. He is far more concerned with the state of the Church, than the state of the Union. Romans 13 reminds us that God has all the kingdoms of earth in the palm of his hand; we need not worry, we simply need to pursue one thing, to “put on Jesus.” Will you?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:18-39 (day six)
Paul writes something mysterious and incredible to the Romans. He writes, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness,…the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Have you ever given that much thought? It is a marvelous one! Now I don’t know all that this verse means, but there are a few things I do know. The Holy Spirit prays for us when we don’t know how to pray. This means, not only does the Holy Spirit know the nitty gritty of our life, but He is actively doing something about it. When we are at a loss, the Holy Spirit is not-He intercedes! That is incredible news!
You know those times when you are done? You can’t endure anymore; you’re spent, and yet you seem to make it through? Well now you know the reason why; the Holy Spirit pulls you through! Maybe you should give Him thanks! It’s okay, go ahead and praise Him for His intercession!
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:18-39 (day three)
“The creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay.” God has placed creation at the mercy of man (“subjected it to futility” is how Paul puts it). We are to steward this creation. We have the power to do so, and that power is indeed great. We begin to see how great when we read that all of creation–all of it–is in the throes of decay. That’s our doing. In our sinfulness, we corrupt everything we touch. The sheer scale of the ruin we have visited on this universe–ruin of spirit, body, society, nature–is staggering. But God has given a hope-filled promise concerning all of creation–that he will liberate it as he makes all things new. Do you treat spirit, body, society, and nature as if you are now part of God’s liberation?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:18-39 (day two)
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” vs. 18
I was a Cross Country runner in high school. I loved it, particularly in the Fall when the hills around my hometown were ablaze with color. When I ran I came up with a formula that kept me motivated. P=J (Pain=Jingle) I knew that if I pushed myself, if I trained well and listened to my coach’s instructions it was likely that I would medal in each race. That medal would be proudly displayed on my letter jacket and jingle among the other medals. Silly? Yes. Effective? Also, yes.
Even when I didn’t know what I needed to do to improve as a runner, I could trust my coach to challenge me in the areas that needed improvement. The Holy Spirit does the same thing. Consider verse 26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that our words cannot express.”
Whatever challenge or trial we are currently enduring, we can rest assured that the glory that is to come will be worth every sacrifice. His glory is bigger than any pain we might endure.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day seven)
“Therefore, brothers, we are under obligation. . .for all who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God.” v 12, 14.
It is not what we expect. The Scripture, in other places, communicates Spiritual life as an INVITATION. An offer. A king gives a party for his son and sends servants out to invite people to come. (Matthew 22)
Paul looks at it from a different perspective. As an OBLIGATION. Same word that he used of himself in Romans 1:14. “I am under obligation.” As a recipient of grace, how could he refuse to give it to others?
He says the same of us. Christ died and rose and sent the promised Holy Spirit! Those who are joined to Him by faith are, thereby, OBLIGATED to live and walk in that gift.
“How dare you benefit from Christ and owe him nothing in return!”, says Paul. Not an offer. Not an option. It is our OBLIGATION.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day six)
Experts say that there are more slaves in the world today than there were in the 18th and 19th centuries. Human trafficking, modern day slavery, is the fastest growing nefarious business in the world, second only to drugs. It would be hard to imagine the feelings a once-slave might experience after being rescued. Probably feelings of great relief and new found joy, mixed with fear and post-traumatic stress, would be very real and present.
if you are a follower of Jesus, you were once a slave; rescued from the bondage of sin and death. And yet we still can experience the shadow of our former slavery bearing down on our present life; we can even succumb to it, immobilized by fear and insecurity. Paul reminds us in Romans 8 that we don’t have to live in fear of our former way of life because now we are declared sons and daughters of God. As members of God’s family we have free access to come to Him when we experience our own spiritual PTSD. We can cry out “Abba Father!”
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day five)
Have you seen the Geico commercials? They have branded the tag line, “It’s what you do”. There are several silly examples. If you’re the band Europe, you love a final Countdown; it’s what you do. If you’re a golf commentator, you whisper; it’s what you do. If you’re a fisherman, you tell tales; it’s what you do. In other words, there are certain and unchanging traits that people have.
A similar kind of logic is being made for the Holy Spirit in Romans 8. Look at verse 11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” The Holy Spirit who dwells in Christians is exactly the same person who raised Jesus from the dead. Just as the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, so the Holy Spirit will raise the bodies of believers from the grave.
If you’re the Holy Spirit, you raise people from the dead; it’s what you do.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day four)
Everyone…rich or poor, male or female, regardless of race or creed…everyone is born into the law of sin and death. The law states that all have sinned. Then the law states that the wages or due penalty of sin is death. Left to ourselves, we cannot avoid eternal death. Our passage in Romans 8 though gives hope. Verse 2 says “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Our passage identifies a whole list of outcomes that result from the law of flesh vs. the law of the Spirit…antonyms that result from the source of our allegiance. If we are living according to the flesh, we reap sin and death, condemnation, curses, and we are hostile to God. If we are living according to the Spirit, we reap blessing, we are Spirit-led, we are sons of God, we are free from the law, and we have life and peace. Why would we ever choose to follow the flesh rather than the Spirit?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day three)
“If by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Left to its own power supply, the human body will eventually become completely drained of all energy and die. This is the damning detail of the fall of man: We ceased to draw our source of energy–of life–from the spiritual realm, in particular from God himself. There is no reason these bodies God created should not last forever, provided they remain joined to the source of their power. Did you know your body was that well-made? Any program of physical conditioning must include a submission of your body to the leadership of Jesus Christ, or the care of your body is ultimately in vain. Are you willing to let Jesus teach you how to live in your body?