Category: Romans

Importance of love and unity!

Scripture reading for June 14th: Proverbs 19-21, Psalm 40, Romans 16

Romans 16: 16-20 “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. I appeal to you, brothers to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under you feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

Paul’s final thoughts for the Romans including greeting many of the believers by calling out their names and what he was thankful for in their lives and service to Christ. He encouraged unity and love to flow genuinely between believers and emphasized that all churches greeted them in the same Spirit of Christ But the leadership needed to be watchful over the church for those who had other motives and caused divisions through twisted doctrines and legalism. Paul did not want the division to sow strife and evil talk and accusations in the church. God was and is a God of peace and it is Satan behind the division. Through grace and peace and unity, God would soon crush Satan under those believers feet! (And ours!)

Psalm 40:4 “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!”

Prayer: Father God, I have made You my Trust and value Your Word as truth. Help me to live in unity and harmony with each member of Your Body, the Church. Help me to watch out for those who are divisive and do not follow sound doctrine but are greedy and follow their appetites. As we pursue You and the truth of Your Word, we trust You to crush Satan under our feet as we walk with You.

Proverbs 21:21 “Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness and honor.”

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Praying for God’s workers!

Scripture reading for June 13th: Proverbs 16-18, Romans 15

Romans 15:29-33 “I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ. I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”

God’s Word declares that all His people are ‘saints’, set apart to serve Him. But those chosen to go out and preach and teach and evangelize are to be supported in prayer by those that send them. Paul asks the church to pray for him as he goes on to minister in places not yet reached by the Gospel. He asks deliverance from the unbelievers. This does not mean that he won’t be persecuted or suffer for Christ’s sake and the Gospel. He asks that his service, his ministry and life will be acceptable to the saints and to God and that by God’s will he might return to them and share the joy of ministry he has experienced and be refreshed by their ministry to him. As believers we are told to ‘strive together’ with God’s workers in prayer and support. As we give prayer, our God of hope and peace will be with us!

Romans 15:13 “May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Prayer: Father God of Hope and Peace, thank You for filling me with joy and peace as I trust in You for salvation and power to obey Your Word. I lift up those who are preaching and teaching Your Word in lands where they have never heard. Deliver them from attacks of unbelievers and make their work acceptable to the saints and to You. Fill them with joy and peace and abounding hope as they trust You.

Proverbs 16:20 “Whoever gives thought to the Word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.”

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Be careful, don’t judge legalistically!

Scripture reading for June 10th: Proverbs 14-15, Romans 14

Romans 14:1-4 “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”

In the culture of the church in Rome there were those who were weaker in their faith because of being immature and untaught in God’s Word. They still held some cultural beliefs or held to portions of the law although they had repented and come to salvation through believing on Jesus. Those who were more mature were passing judgment on these and looking down on them because they refused to eat meat that may have come from idols. Some became ‘vegetarians’ and both sides were critical of the other. Paul told them emphatically not to pass judgment by asking them a question. “Who are you to pass judgment?” He also added another truth: each person would stand before Christ and give an account!

Romans 14:10-12 “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for setting Your people free from dietary laws and condemnation. Forgive me when I have been haughty and critical of others whose faith may not have been developed yet. You alone are the Judge. Thank You for ‘life-giving’ reproof from Your Word to instruct me in the fear and respect for Your Word and Your people whom You have redeemed.

Proverbs 15:31-33 “The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Whoever ignores instruction despises himself, but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence. The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom and humility comes before honor.”

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Put on the armor of Light!

Scripture reading for June 9th: Proverbs 11-13, Psalm 8, Romans 13

Romans 13: 11-14 “Besides this you know that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now that when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

Paul encouraged believers who had given their bodies to God as a living sacrifice and their minds to think God’s thoughts to now apply these truths in practical ways. It is easy to acknowledge spiritual truth and then not apply it. We must know who we are–now children of Light living in God’s glory and made to bring Him honor. We must cast off the works of darkness that marked our old way of living and now cloth ourselves with the armor of Light! We are told to “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” Jesus is our righteousness, our sanctification and the assurance of our resurrection and full salvation. Our new living in Christ Jesus serves as a guide to those who are our neighbors, believers and unbelievers! Amen!

Psalm 8:3-5 “When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”

Prayer: Father God, when I see the vastness and intricacy of Your amazing creation, I wonder, along with the psalmist, ‘what is man that Your are mindful of him?” But in Christ Jesus You have shown me my true identity as Your child and my calling to love You and love my neighbors through obedience to Your Word. Clothe me afresh today with My Lord Jesus Christ and the armor of Light!

Proverbs 12:26 “One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.”

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Let love be genuine!

Scripture reading for June 8th: Proverbs 8-10, Psalm 144, Romans 12

Romans 12: 9-17 “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil: hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil,, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.”

Paul encouraged believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice to God and to renew their minds with His Word. Paul used the last chapters of his letter to explain practically how the Christian walk takes place in a world of evil in a church that has people of all different levels of maturity and faith, including some who are not walking in faith yet! Believers should be known by their genuine love for God and for people. They understand that love shows honor and affection to all people, no matter what level of maturity. Love requires patience with people as they work out their salvation. Love meets people where they are emotionally and shows hospitality. Love blesses and doesn’t curse. Love is humble and doesn’t judge people or seek to harm them an any way but to be a blessing. This walk brings glory to God!

Psalm 144:15 “Blessed are the people to who such blessing fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!”

Prayer: Father God, I thank You for Your genuine love in Jesus Christ. Without His love, I would not know how to love others or You. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and pour out Your love through me to others in these practical ways taught by Paul to the Romans. I present my body to You and my mind to be renewed to love You better and preach Your Word that Your love may cover all offenses!

Proverbs 10:11-12 “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”

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God’s deep riches and wisdom in Christ!

Scripture reading for June 7th: Proverbs 6-7, Psalm 7, Romans 11

Romans 11:28 “As regards the Gospel, they (the Israelites) are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!”

Paul explained to the Roman believers about God’s great desire to show mercy to all people, Jew and Gentile. For now, the Jews rejected the Gospel. Their rejection opened the door so that God sent His church into the Gentile world so that they could receive mercy. But God’s gifts and calling are irrevocable for the Jews as well. God has promised them salvation and an inheritance. Through the Gospel, God will also save the Jews who believe in Jesus Christ. All are disobedient and all need God’s mercy for salvation. His deep wisdom and knowledge is beyond natural man to figure out. Worship is the response of those receiving mercy!

Romans 11:36 “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” Psalm 7:17 “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the Name of the Lord, the Most High.”

Prayer: Father God, my response is worship and thanksgiving for Your great mercy, wisdom and righteousness! Thank You for forgiving all my sins and giving mercy to all who are disobedient and repent. Speak to me daily through Your Word and Spirit and lead me in Your everlasting ways. To You be all glory and honor now and forever! Amen!

Proverbs 6:20-23 “My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life.”

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Believe! Confess! Be saved!

Scripture reading for June 6th: Proverbs 3-5, Romans 10

Romans 10:8-13 “But what does it say? “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is the Word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

Salvation is not mysterious. God does not try to hide His plan for saving the lost. He has made it very simple and universal for all people, all races, and ages. The Word of God is preached. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ, Son of God, come to earth to reveal the Father and the Way to His House and household. Jesus shed His blood on the cross becoming a substitute for sinners. He was buried and experienced death for all. He rose again on the third day, conquering death, hell and the grave, having the keys and leading the faithful out. It is so simple that we must become like a child and believe with our heart and confess with our mouth that “Jesus Christ is Lord” and we will be saved! All who call on the Name of Jesus Christ will be saved. There are no ‘maybe’ or ‘hope to’ people in these statements! Amen!

Romans 10:17 “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the simplicity of salvation and for its universal application to all people of all nations and cultures. Thank You for sending a believer to share the Gospel with me. Send me to someone who needs to hear the Word and draw them to believe, confess, and be saved as I share the Word of Jesus Christ with them. Help me guard my heart each day and let Your Word flow out of me.

Proverbs 4:23-26 “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.”

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God over all–blessed forever!

Scripture reading for June 3rd: 1st Kings 4, Proverbs 1-2, Psalm 43, Romans 9

Romans 9:1-5 “I am speaking the truth in Christ–I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit–that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, Who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”

Paul was a Jew and loved God and His people. He knew the Old Testament Scriptures and was taught in the law and worship and promises and then taught them to others. But Paul encountered Christ and now Christ had given Him a new and deeper understanding of God’s grace to the whole world. He now understood that the Jews were privileged people but they were blind to Jesus Christ as their Messiah. He was so full of anguish for his own brothers and sisters that if he could, he would be accursed so that they might be saved! Sounds like the heart of Jesus Christ Himself for His own people, Jew or Gentiles! May God be praised and blessed forever and ever! Amen!

Psalm 43:3-4 “Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.”

Prayer: Our Father, You have sent Your light and Truth in the person of Jesus Christ to both Jew and Gentile. Thank You for being my Exceeding Joy! I pray for the salvation of all peoples, especially the Jews who had the privileges of carrying the Seed of Christ, receiving Your laws and promises. May all peoples bless You forever and ever! Amen!

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

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Anticipation of the coming glory!

Scripture reading for June 2nd: 1st Kings 3, 2nd Chronicles 1, Psalm 42, Romans 8

Romans 8:18-23 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him Who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from the bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves who have the firstfruits of the Spirit grown inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

Paul further explained that through the Holy Spirit, we have adoption into God’s family in token form for now. We are infilled by the Holy Spirit, but live in our bodies of flesh that still suffer pain, loneliness and longing for fullness of God’s promised redemption. We are promised a glorious body, like Jesus’ glorified body when He comes again. In the mean time, creation is under the bondage of sin and decay as well as human beings, saved and unsaved. As believers we groan inwardly too, awaiting Jesus’ return and anticipating with eager longing our full redemption. This is like the bride waiting for the Bridegroom!

Romans 8:23-25 “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

Prayer: Father God, as I get older, I understand the groaning inwardly of my spirit for the fullness of redemption when Christ returns. That is my hope, the “Blessed Hope” of the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ! Thank You for the Holy Spirit, my down-payment of that coming glory Who groans with me, comforts me, and encourages me to be patient and wait and work!

Romans 8:26-27 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself interceded for us with groaning to deep for words. And He Who searches the heart knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Psalm 42:1-2 “As a deer pant for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirst for God, the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

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The war between the flesh and the Spirit!

Scripture reading for June 1st: 1st Kings 2, 1st Chronicles 29, Romans 7

Romans 7:15-20 “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. No if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, within my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells withing me.”

Paul was a strict Jewish Pharisee, living under God’s law. The law was spiritual and Paul was of the flesh before he encountered Jesus Christ. He struggled to understand his own actions for he desperately wanted to obey the law and please God, but found himself instead doing that which the law forbade. He is now a follower of Christ and understands this war. It is his old sin nature that was crucified with Christ that he now must count as dead to sin. He must now count himself alive to God in Christ through identification with Christ’s resurrection. The grace coming through Christ enabled Paul and us to overcome the passions of sinful flesh that once enslaved us. Thanks be to God He has delivered us!

Romans 7:24-25 “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for delivering me from the war between the flesh and the Spirit by filling me with Your Holy Spirit and giving me grace through Jesus Christ my Lord. Through the Spirit I now have ability to live free from the sin nature and be alive to God forever more. I offer myself to be used to share this Good News with all who still battle their sin nature. There is victory through the Lord Jesus!

1st Chronicles 29:19 “Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep Your commandments, Your testimonies, and Your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”

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