Category Archives: Romans

Shouldn’t I be asking others to pray for me?

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.”  Romans 15:30.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 25-27, and Romans 15.

What a great request!

In each of our lives there are struggles.  It could be at work or within our immediate family; we can all pinpoint concern areas.

Paul sends the Romans a letter and asks the readers to help him in his struggles.  “Join me,” he says.

How often do I send that kind of request?

The vakue of doing such a thing are numerous:

It gives words to a problem.  By spelling something out I clarify what it is.

It connects me to other people.  Prayer warriors love such a request from someone.

It also makes me accountable.  I will be questioned as to what has happened in the situation that is being prayed for.

God hears prayer and answers prayer.  I must not hesitate to ask for prayer.

“Lord, I love You.  Thank You for listening to me.  I need interaction with You.  I thank You that, like Paul, I can ask others for prayer for the issues that are troubling me.  I thank You Father.  Hallelujah!”

Why don’t I ask others to pray for me?

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

What love!

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; 1 Kings 9. 2 Chronicles 8, Psalm 136, and Romans 5.

We deserve zip.

We will never understand God.  “Why does He do this?”  “Why doesn’t He do that?”  We’ll never know for sure.

God had no reason to care about us.  We are sinners.  He does not associate with sin.

BUT His love was so great that He looked past our sins to a solution for them.

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice.  He was sinless.  He was totally clean in the sight of His Father.  Jesus was the only sacrifice that could take care of our sin problem.

How grateful I must be for what God has done!  But am I?  How often do I think of how He has loved me in my unworthiness?

When I sing/think of God’s greatness I limit myself to the visuals in my midst…….clouds, sunsets, etc..  I forget about His greatest gift to me; removal of my sin burden so that I would have a new life.  I would be lost without it.

“Lord, You have truly shown amazing love to me by giving me a new life.  I love You for doing it.  Forgive me for getting lax in my praise for all that You’ve done.  Praise of You must be continually in me.  I love You, Father.”

I must appreciate what God has done.  He chose to die for me.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

Getting right with God

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith.”  Romans 3:22-25.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5, Psalm 99, and Romans 3.

I am right with God even though I haven’t earned that right.

What I deserve is separation from God because I am a sinner.

But God loves me.  He created me to love Him back.  I fail at it even though I try hard not to fail.  Sin is in me.

I am like everyone else.  I am unworthy of God.

How grateful I must be that God did something about my sin problem.  He sent His Son Jesus to earth to remove the deserved consequence of my sinfulness…….eternal separation.

When Jesus died, He took my sins (past/present/future) with Him to death.  My sins were atoned for, taken care of.

Three days later God brought Jesus back to new life minus the sins He had died with.

Because of Jesus’s death I likewise have new life unburdened by sins.  I am in the clear before God.  Hallelujah!

The Gospel is Good News: God/Jesus have taken care of our sin problem and given us new life.  We are now cleared before God and must live accordingly.  Jesus is coming back and we must prepare the world for His return.

News, however, must be believed.  There are many who reject the News.  “Can’t be true.”  “Just a myth.”

Trust me, it happened.  Those who don’t believe are still living in sin and there will be an eternal consequence for them.

“Lord, I thank You for Your Word.  I thank You for taking care of our sin problem.  I thank You personally for the new life I have without sin’s burden to worry me.  I am in the clear with You.  Judgment Day will bear this out.  Hallelujah!”

Are you in the clear with God?  Believe the Good News and act accordingly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

Why did I do that?

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.  THEREFORE, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts………”  Romans 1:22-24.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 6, 2 Chronicles 3, Psalm 97, and Romans 1.

I am not a robot.  I have a mind of my own.  That’s the way God made me.

I can do what I please………..and I can suffer the consequences.

I do not know what is best but when I forget that, and act accordingly, I get what I deserve.

Think Prodigal son.  He wanted to do his own thing and went off and did it.  Surely, he knew that his choice might not end well, but off he went.

I do the same thing.  I know the consequences of certain behaviors yet I do them anyhow.  Why doesn’t God stop me?  He gave me a free will.

God created me to love Him. He wanted my love for Him to be my own idea.  Genuine love would have to be that way.

My relationship to God cannot casual.  It must be second-by-second.  I cannot let go of it.

The closer I am to Him the better my life will be. No matter what happens I will have Him close by.  When I drift apart from Him, I surrender His support.  I need that support desperately.

“Lord, how inexcusable are my wanderings away from You.  I know better.  I have history with You.  Help me to connect to You full-time.  You are my God.  I love You, Lord.”

Blaming God for my sinfulness is a joke!  I make the choices.  I choose the roads I take.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

My conduct reflects my relationship to God

“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.  Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another.  Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”  Romans 14:12-13.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Romans 13-16.

I need to be tuned into my own behavior FIRST.

How easy it is to concentrate on the behaviors of other believers.

Today’s verses insist that my focus should be off them and on myself.

I have control of my behavior.  I can do and not do.  I can say or not say.  Others are on their own.

It will be a full-time job trying to live as God wants me to live.  It takes time and it takes direction.

The fact that God is watching me should seriously influence my behavior.  How disappointing I must be to Him!  Yet He loves me anyhow.  I owe Him everything I have and should be returning that love in the way I behave.

My harshest judgments are for those in my midst and those long-range enough that they are unaware of my judgments.  Both of them need to cease at once because they are wrong before God.

I will be accountable for what I do, not for others.  They have that responsibility.

“Lord, forgive me for concentrating too much on what others do.  I stand before you needing to focus on my life before You.  Cleanse me, I beg.  Open my ways to Your Holy Spirit, I pray.  I love You, Father.”

Get yourself straight.

hw-123

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

Change required

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Romans 9-12.

“The world is not my home, I’m just a’passing through.”

The world has its godless ways.  God’s ways are different.

How easily we get drawn into the world’s godlessness.  It’s comfortable because “everyone” is doing it.

We must have the capacity to see, and react to, godlessness.  How do we do that?  Our lives must be controlled by God.  We do this intentionally.  When the day unfolds we are tuned in to what is going on around us from God’s perspective.

I am encouraged when I feel uncomfortable in godless situations.  I sense that God is part of my life.  I sense that I am seeing right and wrong better.  I want to feel uncomfortable in those situations.

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is essential.  How much of me am I allowing the Holy Spirit to be in?  Do I still do things independently of the Holy Spirit?  I need to have that “still, small voice” hollering instructions as my day unfolds.  God must be all over me!

“Lord, what You want and what I’m delivering are out of synch.  Take me over.  Cleanse me from my worldliness.  Enable me to see, and react to, wrong in my midst.  Keep me from succumbing to the ways practiced in evil places.  Empower me to be Your light in dark places.  I love You, Father.”

How worldly are you?

hw-122

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

Help from God

“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 through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”  Romans 8:26-27.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: Romans 5-8.

Often, we have no idea of what to pray about.

We pray for family but they are distant and the things they face are unknown to us.  So are prayers for them are general…….”Bless so-and-so.”

How easily we forget that God is with us.  We have His Holy Spirit within us.  And in today’s verses we learn the benefit of that relationship.

God, who knows what is going on everywhere, has His Spirit in us interceding for us.  Our trust must be in Him.  He knows what folks really are facing and can intercede accordingly.

Prayer is not my telling God what to do.  It is my recognition that God is in charge and is everywhere.  I recognize that He is on the scene and I am supportive of what He will do there.  I thank Him for loving those I’m praying for.

“Lord, forgive me for trying to dispatch You places.  You are everywhere.  Thank You for the assurance that You know the needs of those I love.  I commit them to Your care.  I let go of my urges to direct You.  I thank You that You have given me Your Holy Spirit to intercede for me correctly.  You are a great God.”

Do you need help praying?  You have the Holy Spirit within you, you know.  He’ll do the heavy lifting.

hw-121

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

A loving God

“God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear the world of sin.  Having faith in him sets us in the clear.” Romans 3:25.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Romans 1-4.

That is how much God loved us!

A loving God and his loving Song Jesus combined to get our burden of sin lifted.  Not only ours’ but everyone else past and present.

We are completely in the clear.  We have a new life free from sin.  Sin doesn’t control us unless we let it.

This was the most important event of all time.  It happened and the world will never be the same again.

Yet many find this news to be foolish and scandalous.  Like Hiroo Onoda, they choose to fight on in the Philippines despite the news that World War 2 had ended.  Hiroo lasted twenty-nine years before he got it right.  Sadly, many in our world have rejected the Good News for longer than that.

I continue to think that only God can bring light to those who refuse to believe.  Some of them will accept the Good News out of need.  They’re desperate for something and the Good News suddenly appeals to them.

Many in my midst are not desperate.  They feel safe in what they have.  Only God can trigger a need in a satisfied heart.  My task is to intercede for them that God would open their hearts to Him.

“Lord, oh how You loved us.  We deserve judgment as sinners but Your love provided a way out.  You the Judge took the judgment we deserved.  What a Saviour!”

Believe the Good News.  You’ll never be the same again!

hw-4-5

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

Leave others alone

“Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another.”  Romans 14:13.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: Proverbs 22-24, and Romans 14.

It certainly is easy to judge others.

Paul doesn’t tell us to “let up.”  He tells us to “stop.”  There is a significant difference.

I have had times where I wanted so badly to reel in words that I knew would be harsh on others.  I didn’t have enough control to do it, though.

Are you not troubled by folks who specialize in finding fault?  They can never seem to be satisfied.  Why are they like that?  I am guessing that they have a superiority complex.

Where do believers fit into all of this?  It appears as if our full-time job is making sure that we are in right relationship with God.  Others are not part of our worries.  We don’t need to “help” them get things right.

Part of the conflict in Romans 14 was over interpretations of what God wanted from believers.  Paul tells us not to be a stumbling block or obstacle to others.  They may be wrong but they shouldn’t be finding it out on our initiative.  If they ask then we are to tell them.

It is not an easy thing.  You want the best for others but in some cases they need to find out the things God wants via their own relationship with God.

We should certainly be praying for others that God would bless them.  We certainly should be praying that God mold us into the best representatives of Him that we can be.

“Lord, forgive me for saying/thinking things about others that were ungodly.  Take me over.  Run my life, I beg.  You are a great God.  I love You, Father.”

Let God deal with other people.

+10 You knew this was coming

hw-june-2

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans

Jesus died for your sins

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”  Romans 5:19.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Kings 9, 2 Chronicles 8, Psalm 136, and Romans 5.

Adam brought sin into the world BUT that is not the end of the story.  Jesus took care of sin.

If you are wondering how this works, please read the following story about Donald Barnhouse:

“When Barnhouse was about 15 he heard a man who had been a narcotics addict tell how he had been delivered from it and that his life had been changed.

Barnhouse approached the man afterwards and asked him about what had happened.

The man took Barnhouse’s left hand, turned it palm upward and then said intently, “This hand represents you.”  On it he placed a large book, saying, “This book represents your sin.  The weight of it is on you.  God hates sin, and his anger must bear down against sin.  Therefore, his anger is bearing down on you, and you have no peace in your heart or life.”

Then the man took Barnhouse’s other hand and said, “This hand represents the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior.  There is no sin upon him, and the Father must love him, because he is without spot or blemish.  He is the beloved Son in whom the Father is well pleased.”

There were Barnhouse’s two hands, the one weighted down by the heavy book, the other empty.

Then the man put his hand under Barnhouse’s left hand and turned it over so that the book now came down on the hand that previously had been empty.  He released the left hand, its burden now transferred to the hand that stood for Jesus.  Then he said, “This is what happened when the Lord Jesus Christ took your place on the cross.  He was the Lamb of God, bearing away the sin of the world.”

Then the man read from Isaiah 53: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him striken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities,’ the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way’ and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Then the man said, “Whose sins were laid on Jesus”?

“Our sins,” Barnhouse replied.

“Whose sins does that mean?” the man asked.

“Our sins,” came the same answer.

“Yes, but whose sins are those?”

“Well, everybody’s sins – your sins, my sins…..”

The man interrupted and caught the words almost before they were out of Barnhouse’s mouth.  “My sins; yes, that’s it,” he said.  “That’s what I want.  Say it again.”

Young Barnhouse obeyed, “My sins,” he repeated.

Then the man went back to Isaiah 53:6. He put the book back onto Barnhouse’s left hand and pressed down upon it as he read, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.”  The pressure on Barnhouse’s left hand was strong.  But then the man turned the book and the hand over once again, so that the burden was transferred to the hand that represented Jesus Christ, and then he continued reading the verse: “and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

I paraphrased the story a bit, but what a powerful way to illustrate what God has done for us.  It’s a done deal.  It’s the Good News.  The Messiah has come.  Our sin problem has been taken care of it.  We have new life because of it.  Believe the Good News and live accordingly!

“Lord, I thank You for loving us enough to send Jesus to take care of our sin problem.  I pray that there may be those reading this entry who have now figured out what this Good News thing is all about.  May they believe Your Good News and then live accordingly.  I love You, Lord.”

Did you just receive the Good News?  Hallelujah!

+9 progress

hw-may-24

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Romans