Sunday, July 17, 2011

When in Rome....

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:

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


Mary said...

Paul told the Roman church, "Your faith is being reported all over the world!" What a compliment.
I pray that I can encourage others with my faith and that I am encouraged by theirs. That is what the body of Christ, the church is for to encourage each other so the world can see our faith.

Martha J. M. Orlando said...

I love Paul's reminder in Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The law has made us aware of our sins, but redemption comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus. We are justified by His grace!

Lynne Watts said...

Thanks Emily for the pictures and sharing your mission experience. I find that missions trips change not only the receiver of the the word but the bearer of the word the most. I was struck in the reading today how closely the caution about passing judgement follows the caution about not falling into sin. Paul was quick to point out that we have two big human flaws... It seems to me that I need to carefully monitor myself for both.

Lindsay said...

The part that suck out to me was... Romans 2:13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

Reading the Bible doesn't save me. Going to church doesn't make me holy. Wearing a cross doesn't make me a Christian. Living God's word makes me a disciple of Christ.

Lord, I am reminded that to truly life a life you have intended for me, I need your law and love written on my heart... so that I can live that love and share it with others!

Carol Flores said...

Of course the "all have sinned and fallen short" verse is always a humbling reminder that NOBODY can save themselves. However another verse caught my eye. 2:21 -- You who teach others, do you not teach yourself? This told me that we should never get to the point where we think we know enough about Jesus. Faith is a journey not a destination. The more we learn, the more confidently we can share the Good News with others. Oh to be as confident and courageous as Paul...