Scripture--Romans 1-Romans 3
So, we've made it through the Gospels and Acts, and now we are on to the Epistles--the Letters. They are loosely organized from the longest letters to the shortest. Many are believed to have been written by Paul. Many are written to churches. Others are different. Regardless, these make up a huge base of our theology. Read them carefully--thinking both of the people they are written to--and think of them as if they are written to you!
Romans is the first Epistle. Scholars see it as Paul's most dense theological tract. It deals with Justification, Grace, Love, and many more topics. Its deep and rich and beautiful. Don't worry if it doesn't all "make sense". I'd be more worried if all of it made sense! (remember, the spirit will reveal things to us as we are ready!!!) Scholars believe that Paul wrote it in Corinth, to a church that he did not found. This makes Romans a little different than most of Paul's other letters. Scholars believe that he wrote it between 55 and 56 AD--long before the Gospels were written. For more information see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Romans
Lets see what God would have us see today!
Observation: I'll let you in on a secret--I try to stay ahead on this blog. If you know me well, this won't surprise you. In seminary, I stayed two weeks ahead on readings and assignments. Today is the first post I've written since returning from Nicaragua. Even more, I kept reading while I was there. So, as I was sitting in a rocking chair in Nicaragua on Friday morning, preparing to begin my trip by helping do a mini-VBS for 100+ children in a three room school house and praying for you, I read these words: (1:12), "that is that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine" and (3:13) "For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified".
Application: In Roman's Paul is clear. NOTHING YOU DO WILL SAVE YOU! Jesus saves you.
But, in these verses two things struck me, hard.
1) I was about to go to a place to encourage people who HAD so many fewer things than I did. However, this trip wasn't just about them. It was about US. How together we could teach each other things. It was about how they could change me, and show me how we in the US are poor. They all had smiles. They didn't feel sorry for themselves. They loved life and each other. I'm not so sure we can always say that. And reading those verses, I am reminded that we should and can continue to encourage and uplift each other. By being there. By praying for each other. By loving always.
2) If we only hear the word and don't let it change us, then what good is it? If we only hear God's voice and don't respond, what good is it. How are you responding to God's love and grace and law? Let it change you today!
Prayer: God, change me. Change me through my brothers and sisters in Christ. Change me through your love. Change me enough to go into this world and do your will. Change me. Amen.
July 18-- Romans 4-Romans 6
July 19-- Romans 7-Romans 9
July 20-- Romans 10-Romans 12
July 21-- Romans 13- Romans 15
July 22-- Romans 16
July 23-- 1 Corinthians 1- 1 Corinthians 3
July 24-- 1 Corinthians 4 -1 Corinthians 6
July 25-- 1 Corinthians 7-1 Corinthians 9
July 26-- 1 Corinthians 10-1 Corinthians 12