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.

It’s What you Do

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.

May It Never Be!

Re: Verse reading–Romans 6 (day five)

Freedom is a funny thing. Every year for the past 25 years of youth ministry, I watch a new group of High School graduates enter a new chapter of life. One of the most significant dynamics that marks this new chapter is Freedom. In fact, I tell our graduates, “you will never have more freedom than you do during this new season of life.” As they move into the work force or university life they finally get “to do what I want to do”. Their response to this newfound independence is very telling about their view of Freedom. Paul writes in chapter 6 of Romans His answer to the same issue as it relates to newfound freedom in Christ. Question: “Do I get to do what I want to do, now that I am saved and forgiven?” His response, “May it never be!” In other words, “NO!!” I like what C JoyBell C. says, “Freedom is not the absence of commitment, and to be committed to something or to someone does not mean the loss of freedom”.

Who is Your Master?

Re:Verse reading–Romans 6 (day four)

Verse 19 says, “…For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.” Sin is never a static or unchanging action.  It always results in more sin.  If we submit our lives to lawlessness, things will only get worse.  In our culture, there is no tolerance for those who practice righteousness.  Lawlessness is never content to just do its own thing…there must be increased acceptance and practice by all.  To practice righteousness results in sanctification…in other words, you become more and more like Christ.  Instead of a deterioration of character, there is a growth in character.  Romans 1 taught us that…when man rejected God and choose deception and untruth, God gave them over to the depravity of their minds.  It is a picture we see around us every day.  Lawlessness brings death, righteousness brings life…choose wisely!


Re: Verse reading—Romans 1:1–17 (day three)  

“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Sometimes when you read an email, the more that people use pleasantries up front–“Hope you’re having a great day”, “I pray you’re well”, “How have you been?”, etc., the more you anticipate unpleasantness. What sales pitch will you hear? What favor will you get asked to do? What will the writer try to convince you to give up? You know the drill. Paul, though, was blessing his readers, not buttering them up. Would they read things in his letters that they wouldn’t like–things that would be hard to accept? Absolutely. But Paul prayed for them that grace and peace would operate in their souls so that they could receive the revelation of reality. May we use such words in the same way.

Grateful for Y’all

Re: Verse reading–Romans 1:1–17 (day two)

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. vs. 8

This is the NASB translation, but may provide some evidence that Paul was also writing to the church in Texas. This is as close to y’all as we will see in scripture.

The write of Hebrews says this: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works (10:24). If we are in the business of helping, serving, and loving others then it stands to reason that we ought to let others know when we see them serving well. In the midst of a society that was intolerant toward the gospel, Paul went out of his way to give thanks to those in the field who were serving well. He acknowledged their struggle and declared that he was “not ashamed” of the good news that he and they were declaring. I can imagine what a boon to the Roman believer’s spirits to read these words from Paul. May they encourage you also as you serve a world that is increasingly intolerant of God’s love. Serve well.


Re: Verse reading–2 Corinthians 5:11-21; 1 Peter 3:15-16; Colossians 4:2-6 (day six)

What will you say? Will your words be full of grace? Will they bring life to the listener? Will they encourage, inspire, and illuminate? Will they be preceded with intention and readiness? Will they be thoughtful? And will they make the listener stop and think? Or raise a few eye brows? Or maybe even waken a heart or two? Will they be fresh, different, and hopeful? Will your words make much of Jesus, or much of yourself? Will they draw attention to what He has done? Your words, will they be beautiful? Will they be true? What will you say when they ask of you, “why so hopeful? What’s got into you?”

Will your words be like salt?