Scripture reading for February 9th: Romans 1
Key Scriptures: Romans 1:16-20 “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. for what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”
Paul wrote a letter to the Roman church where he laid out in terms that both Jew and Gentile could understand, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and man’s universal need for salvation and God’s righteousness. He was not ashamed of the Gospel message–Jesus Christ, Son of God, crucified for our sins, buried and raised from the dead to God’s right hand. This message, when preached and believed in faith brings salvation from God’s wrath to Jews and Gentiles. It gives right-standing with God to those once under His wrath because Jesus Christ took God’s wrath against sin on the cross. God has revealed the truth about His eternal power and divine nature to all men through creation. Man has pushed this truth out of their thinking but that will be no excuse when they stand before Him. Those without Christ will face God’s eternal wrath.
Psalm 19:1-3 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.”
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for revealing the power of God for salvation through Your life, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. I desire to preach the Good News every day I am given on this earth. Fill me with the Holy Spirit today for this task.
Isaiah 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.””
Sunday, January 18th, 2009
Each Sunday, it’s good just to take time to think back on the week’s reading. It just so happens that we have finished the book of Genesis in the last three weeks since January 1st. Genesis began with God. He is the central figure! He is creating, working and enjoying! It was good! Man placed by God in a Garden, walking with God in the cool of the day! Man made special and in God’s image, male and female. Man ruling over creation and tending it with God’s blessing!
Genesis is so foundational to our worldview as Christians. Without Genesis we wouldn’t understand where the universe, earth, and solar system came from. Without Genesis we wouldn’t know about the serpent and how sin entered along with death. Without Genesis we wouldn’t know about our special creation and purpose on the earth. We wouldn’t understand why the world was flooded and where the rainbow came from and what it testifies about!
We wouldn’t know how we got all the nations or languages either. We would not know where the nation of Israel came from or the special significance of the lands of Israel and the middle East. We would not understand the conflict in the Middle East that pits millions of Arabs and Ishmael’s decendants against the Jews and Christians. We wouldn’t understand the old conflict between the Serpent and the Seed of Woman. We wouldn’t know about faith as God’s way of making men and women righteous again. We would miss all the rich stories of the fathers of faith as they struggled to walk with God, wrestled with Him, and followed Him through famine, imprisonment, threats and their eventual death. The lives of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebecca, Jacob, Esau, Rachael, Leah, Joseph, Judah, and numerous others are chronicled. We read about their successes and failures; their loves and their quarrels; about births and deaths. They were just like us!
I am thankful for the wonderful record of our origins left for us to read and ponder. I look up at the stars or at the sand on a beach and think of Abraham pondering his offspring and the promises of God! I see a rainbow and I am reminded of God’s mercy to us! I think about Jesus Christ, God’s promised Son, and the one sent ahead to save us from the famine caused by our sins. We are so blessed to read Genesis and have the Holy Spirit revealing truth to us.
“Do not weep! See the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5