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Wow. Romans 5 verses 1 & 2 are so true: "Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory." It is important to note that these verses are talking about more than just a "sense of peace." They are talking about literal "peace with God"! Peace with God is gifted to us through faith in Jesus' life, death and resurrection to redeem us from the depravity and consequences of our sin. Have you experienced literal peace with God? I know that we do not always "sense the peace" with God - but I do not think it leaves us once we've entered into an eternal right relationship with Jesus. I think we can certainly distract ourselves enough or make ourselves worried or frantic enough that we might think the peace is gone. But eternal peace doesn't ever leave us. I do think we need to take time to connect with and rediscover Christ's peace within us each and every day. Reading, prayer and meditation on Scripture are great ways to do this. I have also found getting outdoors and taking a walk in nature helps me connect with Christ's peace again. What are other ways that you connect with Christ's peace within you? Please post up in the Comments section below for others to learn from! Thanks!
Verses 3 through 5 are incredible today as well: "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Note that these verses are not saying to rejoice "because" of problems and trials (that would be morbid), but that we can still rejoice even "when we run into" the problems and trials. It is often difficult for us to remember to rejoice when problems and trials come our way - but please do remember these words of Paul in Romans about rejoicing during a time of trial. Remember our readings in Acts? Paul was ridiculed, beaten, jailed and shipwrecked - and yet, he never gave into a defeatist attitude. He kept preaching God's love! If anyone knows about trials and problems, it is Paul. And he tells us to rejoice through problems and trials because in this we learn to endure. I love that Paul says that character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation! And that this expectation will not disappoint! Do you believe this? Do you have a confident expectation of salvation?
Image above courtesy of stonesoupmusic.org. Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "The Object of Our Faith" is at this link.
Wow... I don't know what it is about Romans this year, but it is speaking to me like never before. For those of you that have gone through the One Year Bible multiple times, you probably know how this is. One year a book will kinda sorta speak to you - God's Word always does. And then the next year a book will just blow you away with its wisdom. Romans is one of those books for me this year... Paul's words in Romans 5 verses 6 through 8 today spoke to me right away: "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." This is so powerful to think about. Jesus died for us sinners. Think about how selfless this is. Would you die for someone right now? Perhaps your family or maybe someone who is especially good, as this Psalm says. But would you die for a liar, a thief, a cheat, or a hopeless addict? Maybe so... but probably not. Jesus came for us. He died for us. Us thieves. Us liars. Us cheat. Us addicts. He came to save us! Have you been saved by Jesus?
We are now called friends of God as Paul tells us in verse 11: "So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God--all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God." Do you rejoice in knowing that you are a friend of God? If someone were to look at how you interact with others and how you spend your time and your days, would they know that you are a friend of God? Do you often spend quality time with God like you would with any other friend? Do you think spending time with God is more valuable than anything else you could do in this world?
Paul's contrast of Adam and Jesus in today's readings is so powerful for us to meditate upon... Verses 18 & 19 stood out to me today: "Yes, Adam's one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness makes all people right in God's sight and gives them life. Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God's sight."
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "From the Curse to the Cure" is at this link.
Today in Romans chapter 6 verses 17 & 18 we read: "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." Do you believe that you were ever a slave to sin? Is it possible that you are still a slave to sin now? How can you be freed from being a slave to sin? Or, better yet, Who do you think can free you from being a slave to sin? Are you wholeheartedly obeying the teaching to which you have been entrusted? Where can you consistently find the teaching to which you have been entrusted? Do you consider yourself a slave to righteousness? Do you like the idea of being a slave to righteousness?
Today we read Romans 6:23! I pray that this is a verse of Scripture that you have truly memorized, meditated upon, and fully understand and agree with:
Great writings by Paul in Romans 7 today about the Law! I love how he wraps up today's readings in verses 12 & 13 by saying: "But still, the law itself is holy and right and good. But how can that be? Did the law, which is good, cause my doom? Of course not! Sin used what was good to bring about my condemnation. So we can see how terrible sin really is. It uses God's good commandment for its own evil purposes." Great theology in this chapter today! Indeed - the law itself is holy and right and good. But, we couldn't keep the law and sin tempted us to break the law. And thanks to Jesus, Paul tells us in verse 6 today: "But now we have been released from the law, for we died with Christ, and we are no longer captive to its power. Now we can really serve God, not in the old way by obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way, by the Spirit." We now serve God by the Spirit! We are free indeed!
Bible.org's commentary on today's Romans readings titled "The Loveliness of the Law and the Ugliness of Sin" is at this link.
Romans chapter 7 today has some amazing teachings about struggling with sin. I imagine that all of us at one point or another have concurred with Paul - and remember this is the apostle Paul writing this! - in verses 15 through 17: "I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things." These verses get at Original Sin in a big way. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Sin can live inside of us and make us do evil things that we hate doing. What do you suppose - or Whom do you suppose - frees us from this bondage to sin? Jesus. Yes, Jesus frees us. How? He paid the penalty on the cross for our sins. And he gives us the free gift of salvation and the Holy Spirit to free us from the bondage of sin. Take a look at these verses again above from Paul. Is sin living inside of you making you do things you hate? Do you want to be free from this slavery to sin? Will you pray to accept Jesus as your savior today and allow him to free you from you bondage to sin? Please do. It's the best decision you will ever make. Please spend a few minutes prayerfully at this website - http://needhim.org/
Bible.org's fantastic commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "The War Within" is at this link.
Wow... I love Paul's writings today in Romans 8 verses 12 through 14! "So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God." How do these verses speak to you? Can you imagine that these words were written for you and your life today? Do you believe that you have no obligation whatsoever to do what sin urges you to do? Are you led in your life today by the Spirit of God?
Worship God: Today's readings in Romans today reminds me of Jeremy Camp's song "Healing Hand of God:"
Have you felt the healing hand of God? Click here for Healing!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture this week: "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you know the full expanse of God's love for you and the full cost Jesus paid for your sins on the Cross. Pray that you know that while you were still a sinner, Christ died for you. Pray that you have been saved from your sins through saving faith in Jesus.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
p.s. Download our monthly Small Group study notes for our Chronological Bible readings at this link.
p.p.s. Download a schedule of our Chronological Bible readings for the year in PDF format at this link.
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