Archive for May 2013

Romans 6:6-7

Some of my friends just had a new baby a few days ago, and I got a chance to hold him the other day. Three things I always think when I hold a newborn: 1) I don’t think mine were ever this small;  2) I love the little fingers and toes;  3) It is sad to think that this little dude is a sinner. Read more ...

Published on May 1, 2013 at 3:10 am |

Romans 6:8-11

In America we have a law that says you cannot be convicted for the same crime more than once—it’s called double jeopardy. Once the punishment has been served, the matter is over.Read more ...

Published on May 2, 2013 at 4:06 am |

Romans 6:12-13

I dearly love the game of basketball. I used to enjoy playing it, I have enjoyed coaching it, and I love to watch it. When I evaluate a player (either as a coach or simply as an uninvolved observer), I always want to know what they bring to the table. What are his strengths? How can he contribute to the team? Read more ...

Published on May 3, 2013 at 3:40 am |

Romans 6:14

It has already been discussed several times already in the book of Romans that the Law was used to point out mankind’s sins—in fact it exacerbated our condition in order to make our need for a Savior that much more obvious. Now, however, we see the other side of the coin.Read more ...

Published on May 5, 2013 at 4:08 am |

Romans 6:15-18

The world of sports is a weird industry in that when you become eligible to be a professional, you are drafted by a particular team, and you must go play for that team (or not play at all). In just about any other profession (retail, medicine, engineering, teaching, technology…) you find a company which is hiring and apply—you either get the job or not.Read more ...

Published on May 8, 2013 at 2:39 am |

Romans 6:19-22

Paul explains the purpose of his slavery illustration (we went with free agency in sports) as necessary to highlight the fact that there is a cost-benefit ratio at work in our choice of master.Read more ...

Published on May 9, 2013 at 2:18 am |

Romans 6:23

A friend at work asked me how long I planned to continue talking about Santa with my kids at Christmas. She was surprised when I told her I had never once told my children that a gift was from Santa, and I never would. I then explained to her that I had several reasons for this philosophy, but one major one was that I work hard to provide for my family, and it is a bit of a sacrifice to buy gifts. Now, I am thrilled to do so, but I want my children to know that I am giving them these gifts. Daddy has to work hard to make money for the family, and we decided to use some of that hard-earned money to buy you this gift…because we love you so much.Read more ...

Published on May 10, 2013 at 2:53 am |

Romans 7:1-4

One of my daughter’s best friends at school comes from a broken home. So, it did not take too long for my daughter to ask me about divorce. I had a very earnest conversation with her in which I explained that Mama and I made promises to God and to each other that we would stay together until one of us died. My daughter was relieved when I promised her that we were never going to split up.Read more ...

Published on May 13, 2013 at 3:38 am |

Romans 7:5-8

Paul has touched on this ground before, but it bears repeating. Because we are stubborn and sinful by nature, we fight God’s Law. God gave us the Law to demonstrate His holiness, but because we are rebels, it inflamed our sinfulness and made us live even more sinfully than before. It is only after God removed the strictures of the Law that we were free to live lives which could in any way glorify God. 
Christian freedom is not freedom to do what we want—it is freedom to do what is right. Apart from Jesus’ work in our lives we are slaves to rebellion and evil. 
Romans 7:5-8   5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death.  6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.  7 What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."  8 But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law, sin lies dead.

Published on May 14, 2013 at 3:09 am |

Romans 7:9-11

How often do you walk by a doorway and get a strong desire to touch the jamb? Right, never. However, if you walk by a doorjamb and it has a sign that says, “Wet paint, do not touch,” you want to see if it is still wet—we do not like to be told what to do. Prohibitions often call our attention to things of which we were not previously aware.Read more ...

Published on May 15, 2013 at 2:52 am |

Romans 7:12-13

At one of the jobs I had in college an efficiency firm was hired to evaluate each worker’s role and analyze how our actions could be streamlined for peak efficiency. This process lasted two weeks or so, and attitudes/morale were terrible. Most workers felt picked on and became resentful. Everyone felt like the “watchers” (with their judgmental clipboards) slowed them down and made them inefficient, but that was ridiculous. Most workers were kind of inefficient and lazy. Having someone watch them and chronicle their actions only exacerbated and brought to light what had been there all along. The efficiency firm was not a hindrance; the firm did not slow us down and make us waste time. We were already wasteful—the “watchers” simply made plain what was already there.Read more ...

Published on May 16, 2013 at 4:00 am |

Romans 7:14-15

Paul begins an interesting examination of our desires and actions. He says that one’s desires can be far removed from reality. In Paul’s case, though He lived under the Law, because he was a slave to sin, he still obeyed his sin nature. Though Paul detested his actions, he was captive to his own sinful self.  
Romans 7:14-15  For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.  15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Published on May 17, 2013 at 3:34 am |

Romans 7:16-25

 

This passage may be the Bible’s ultimate tongue-twister. Paul says that he constantly tries to do what he doesn’t want to do, because if he can pull it off, he is obeying the Law. Our sinful self is not programmed to do right, we have to work at it. 
This passage reminds me of the weight loss roller coaster many people find themselves on. We want to lose weight and look and feel great, but we find ourselves doing the things “we do not want” (chocolate chip cookies) and not doing “the things we do want” (working out before or after work).Read more ...

Published on May 20, 2013 at 3:54 am |

Romans 8:1-2

Shai Linne, a lyricist whom I have quoted before, with these phrases discusses some of the ways that Satan deceives Christians—“For those who minimize truth, he’ll burden them with heresies For those who emphasize truth, he’ll turn them into Pharisees. One generation, he’ll tempt them to be legalists, the next generation, he’ll tempt them to be hedonists.”Read more ...

Published on May 21, 2013 at 2:33 am |

Romans 8:3-4

Have you ever tried to work with broken or faulty supplies? I remember once my Pops and I were building something, and we got a batch of bad nails. Now, when you hammer in nails, you occasionally hit one crooked and bend it. These nails, however, were truly lemons. Every blow of the hammer caused these nails to bend and buckle. We could not achieve our goal with those lemons.Read more ...

Published on May 23, 2013 at 3:26 am |

Romans 8:5-8

As Christians we think differently than we did before we were believers. An unbeliever thinks about things of this life. Our focus should be on things which have to do with the Kingdom of God, the things of the Spirit. This affects how we treat others, how we approach work, how we spend our money, how we spend our time…every aspect of life is changed and shaped by the guiding principle that if we are pleasing our natural desires, we cannot be pleasing God.  
Romans 8:5-8  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.  6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.  7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot.  8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Published on May 24, 2013 at 4:22 am |

Romans 8:9-10

These verses have a reassuring promise tinged with a hint of warning. They say that the Spirit gives us life because of the righteousness of Christ—great news—if (here comes the warning) in fact we are truly believers. See, there are many who seem to be believers. They act like they are Christians, they talk like they are Christians, but they do not actually have a relationship with Jesus.Read more ...

Published on May 27, 2013 at 3:28 am |

Romans 8:11

We all know that God is at work in us. Paul told us in Philippians 1:6 “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” This is an encouraging thought that God is doing work in our lives, but just how powerfully is He working in us? This passage tells us that God who raised Jesus from the dead is giving us life through His Spirit. 
Jesus in His human body suffered a violent, bloody execution while also enduring the full wrath of God. His body was completely destroyed. The God who was able to return life to that body is empowering your mortal body for service.
So, when we question our ability and capabilities, we can rest in the fact God is in control, He is good, and He will give us all that we need in order to complete the task He has assigned to us.
Romans 8:11  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Published on May 29, 2013 at 3:34 am |

Romans 8:12-13

Paul had just encouraged his readers with the fact that God is working in and through them with the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, but now he makes specific application. Paul tells his readers that their actions do matter—not because of their actual historical impact—we all eventually die no matter what.
Read more ...

Published on May 30, 2013 at 3:22 am |

Romans 8:14-15

When I was younger, I knew two brothers. They were not biologically brothers, but they had each been adopted by the same family. The one brother was fascinated by who his biological parents had been—he never felt totally a part of the adopted family. The other brother felt like this is the family who chose me, this is the family who raised me…this is my family. He had no interest in who his biological parents were.Read more ...

Published on May 31, 2013 at 4:17 am |

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