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Paul bursts out in some great praise and worship of God today in Romans 11 verses 33 through 36: "Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen." Great stuff! I love that second to last full sentence that tells us that everything is intended for God's glory. So true. And yet so easy for us to forget. You my friend are intended for God's glory! It is a beautiful truth to consider. Are you living your life fully for God's glory? Are there any areas of your life that would not be seen as giving glory to God? Will you let those un-glorious aspects of your life go? Will you walk fully in the LIGHT of God's glory?
Wow! Could Romans chapter 12 be one of the most powerful chapters in the Bible?? I love this chapter... Please take a moment to re-read this chapter if you can. Verses 1 through 3 have been so powerful for me personally since the early days of my Christian walk - "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer 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." I really don't know what commentary I could add to these words of Paul's. I love the thought of our bodies being living sacrifices to God. (There is of course the old joke that the only problem with a living sacrifice is that it tends to crawl off the altar... :) And the warning to not conform any longer to the pattern of this world is so so so true.... and we all know it. But I find myself still falling prey to the pattern of this world. Its temptations do not cease. But! We can be transformed by the renewing of our minds to test and approve what God's will is. Through a loving and growing relationship with Jesus, we can overcome the temptations and the death this world will offer us all too frequently. In view of God's mercy, will you offer your body today as God as a living sacrifice?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "The Road to Renewal" is at this link and "Thinking Straight about Spiritual Gifts" is at this link and "What is this Thing Called Love" is at this link. Below are 2 wonderful images for Romans chapter 12 verse 2 and verses 4 & 5:
Tyndale's One Year Bible Companion has a great overview of three historical interpretations of how Christians are to submit to the government per Paul's writings in Romans chapter 13 verse 1 today: "1. Some Christians believe the state is so corrupt that Christians should have as little to do with it as possible. 2. Others believe that God has given the state authority in certain areas and the church authority in others. Christians can be loyal to both and can work for either. They should not however confuse the two. 3. Still others believe that Christians have a responsibility to make the state better. They can do this politically by electing high-principled leaders. None of these 3 views advocate rebelling against or refusing to obey the government's laws or regulations unless those laws clearly require you to violate the moral standards revealed by God." Bible.org's commentary on this subject titled "The Christian and Civil Government" is at this link. I lean toward a mix of #2 and #3 these days. I think there is much value in Christians paying attention to local and national and international governments, and getting involved. Let us not just throw our hands up in the air and think that our government is nothing but this image below... :) (or if we do think our government is nothing but this image below, then let us work to change the reality!)
How incredibly powerful are Paul's words in Romans 13 verses 8 through 10 - "Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God's law. For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting--and any other commandment--are all summed up in this one commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God's requirements." Wow... great stuff. Love satisfies all of God's requirements. Do you believe this to be true? What type of love do you think Paul is talking about here? A passive love? An active love? Who is the last person you paid the debt of love to? Who is the next person you will pay the debt of love to? Will you pay the debt of love to somebody in your life each and every day?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "Love, Law, and the Last Days" is at this link.
Paul's writings in Roman's chapter 14 about the dangers of criticizing and judging others are powerful! I love verses 12 & 13: "Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So don't condemn each other anymore. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian's path." Wow... that is something for each of us to consider. That we ourselves can actually put obstacles in another Christian's path toward God! Do you think that you have ever done this in your life? I do think that I have. Never intentionally. But, when I have stopped loving and serving others and instead began judging and criticizing others, I do believe I have placed obstacles in other people's paths! Not to mention my own path! Let us pray that we are not obstacles to others by judging and criticizing...
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Romans titled "Love and Liberty: Liberties Love Won't Take" is at this link. Below is a great image for Romans 14:8 from today's readings -
Worship God: Romans chapter 12 today reminded me of JJ Heller's fantastic song "True Things:"
Are there true things inside of you? Click here for Truth!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship. 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 12:1-2 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you are offering your body as a living sacrifice to God today. Pray that you are not conforming to the pattern of this world, but are being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Pray you are walking and living in the center of God's will for your life - His good, pleasing and perfect will.
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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