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Showing posts from March, 2019

2 Timothy 1-2~ Day 90- Keep the main thing, the main thing.

It's thought that this 2nd letter to Timothy was written while Paul was doing his second stent in prison, which led to his execution.  It makes me choke up thinking about Timothy reading this final letter from his mentor.  I can only imagine he must have been hanging on every word!

Just when we can get overwhelmed with emotion for any multiple reasons, loss of a loved one, getting caught up in false teaching, dealing with rejection because of our faith, it is so good to read some of the last encouraging words Paul gave to his disciple and to us!  Paul reminded Timothy, "Keep the main thing, the main thing!"

And what is the main thing, you may be asking?

"Remember, Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David." (2:8)  That's it!! That's Paul's gospel.  This is what he "hung his hat on" as being the good news.  It's in this fact that we "obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus." (2:10)
So, when in grief or fee…

1 Timothy 4-6~ Day 89~On guard!

Did you notice how Paul repeated himself on the issue of "sound doctrine"?  He talked about it in yesterday's reading, "Command certain people not to teach false doctrine." (1:3)  And then in today's, reading. it at least three times!
1.) "Watch your life and doctrine closely." (4:16)
2.) "If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing." (6:3)
3.) Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care." (6:20)

Obviously, they were dealing with false doctrines just as we do today!  I love how Paul gave very practical steps to Timothy on how to "guard what has been entrusted" to him and to us!
Nourish yourself on the truths of the faith and good teaching. (4:6)Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives tales. (4:7)Train yourself to be godly. (4:7)Devote yourself to reading scripture. (4:13)  There you go! A …

1 Timothy 1-3~ Day 88~ Do we need to find a new word?

Warning, this is a long post, but I learned some interesting stuff today and I am going to write it out so that I can remember it! If you feel so inclined to read about the translation of the word "love" in scripture than keep reading.
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Today I read, "Love comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."  (1 Tim. 1:5)  Boy, did that send me spinning on a tangent!! My whole Christian life I have heard, "Love one another!"  But, to be honest, I have always felt that the word "love" is hard to understand.  What is the definition of love when someone throws at you, "Be loving!"  
Take parenting for example.  One parent may feel giving $20 to their teenage for lunch is a loving act.   Another parent may feel that is spoiling the teen, not loving at all, because a work ethic wasn't taught and the child did not get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.  So, the "loving act" appears to be subjective.
I found that…

2 Thess 1-3~ Day 87~God sees things differently.

A whole letter in one day for our reading today!  WooWoo!

Our reading today reminded me of a conversation I had one time with a young Christian regarding, "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might." (2 Thess. 1:8-9)

"That's really hard to swallow" he said, "I know a lot of people who are good people.  They haven't committed any major sin.  Why should they burn in hell for eternity just because they don't believe in Jesus, or worse, haven't heard of him?"

Those were really good questions that this person was mulling over.  I get a good perspective from God's view when I read, "They perish because they refuse to love the truth and so be saved." (2 Thess. 2:10)  Paul goes onto say that they actually "delight in wickedness".

I reminded this young bel…

1 Thessalonians 4-5~ Day 86~ God's will for you.

Have you ever asked yourself, "What is God's will for my life?"  I have!  In fact, I have asked it often!
What kind of work do you want me to do. Lord? Should I stay living in this area? Do you want me to move? Should I change churches when things go sideways at my church?  Should I put my kids in private school and pay that high tuition or tithe all that money away and send them to public?  Speaking of money, what do you want me to do with that?  What is your will, Lord??!!
The questions surrounding what God's will would be in my life are endless!!

Yet, Paul said simply to the Christians in Thessalonica, and to us, exactly what God's will is!!

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:16)

That's it!  So simple! Whatever life throws at you,....pray....give thanks for it....and rejoice that your salvation is sure!  Our life here is but a vapor (James 4:14) a…

1Thessalonians 1-3~ The Christian life summed up in a nutshell.

It’s three chapters today!!

I love how Paul described the Christians in Thessalonica. This should be the description of the Christian life!
Work produced by faith,
labor prompted by love,
endurance inspired by HOPE in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1:3)

Amen! There’s not much more to say!
Lord, please help me so that I may be described like that!!!

Colossians 3-4~Day 84~ Set your mind on the end goal!

My Bible titles chapter 3 of Colossians as “What Christians should do”. At first glance it does look like a long “to-do” list! Those lists have a way of getting some people to revert to thinking that if they don’t do enough then either they won’t get to heaven or they won’t get as big as a reward as the person who does more.
I’m really glad I didn’t read the title before I read the first four verses of the chapter! They hit me in a new way. First of all, when Paul repeats himself,  I perked up! “..set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not an earthly things.” (3:1-2).  Did ya catch the repeat?  And, I loved this,  “When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (3:4) 
Talking about some great perspective before launching into the “to-do” lists. If you set your mind on things above and if Christ is truly, “your life”, the to-do list that follows would be so natural you wouldn’t e…

Col. 1-2~Day 83~ Here’s something to blow your mind!!

Do you love mysteries? Is it fun for you to gather and analyze the clues, figuring out what they could mean in order to solve a perplexing riddle?  If so, I believe you were created in God’s image and inherited that personality type from him! However he doesn’t gather the clues, he sets them up for us! He set up a masterful mystery from the beginning of time and people throughout the ages have tried to solve it! In the case of God’s mystery, he set a time to reveal the answer to his riddle. That time was 2000+ years ago.

Have you noticed how often Paul speaks about Christ being the answer to the biggest mystery case ever?! He mentions it in other letters, but I noticed it twice today.
“..the mystery that has been hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (1:26-27)
And
“My goal is that you may be encouraged in heart …

Philippians 3-4~ Day 82~ Get a role model!

Do you have a role model in your life that you can look to as an example of righteous living?
Did you catch that Paul suggests you have one or more?

"Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do." (Phil 3:17)

 If you noticed, Paul describes the enemies of the cross, so we can use that description and look for role models that are opposite to that!  We need to find people who "set their minds on heavenly things" (vs.19)!!!
In addition, the role model you choose should be eagerly waiting a Savior from heaven (vs. 20).  Can you think of someone who refers to the coming of Jesus and is looking forward to that day? If the person you have as a role model doesn't do those two things.....look for someone else!

Another thing Paul makes clear about the role model we choose is, that person won't be perfect. Whew!  If that were the case the pool to choose from would be nonexis…

Philippians 1-2 ~ Day 81~ Abounding in knowledge and depth of insight!

We are booking through the New Testament letters now, aren't we?!  It's going fast! Here we are in Philippians already!

These verses stood out to me, "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God." (1:9-11)

I like what John Piper says about what "blameless" means in a life lived here on earth. "It doesn't mean we lived perfectly.  It means that we lived a life hating our sin, seeking holiness and trusting in Christ."  Well, that sounds way more do-able than being "blameless",
but.....
this is what I see "blameless" to mean:  We will be blameless and filled with the fruit of righteousness because that is what a believer reflects when God looks at him/her.  What causes tha…

Ephesians 4-6~ Day 80~ You will be able to stand!!

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The reading plan left out chapter 4!  Sorry about that ! Let's stick that chapter in our reading today.

I just can't help commenting on Eph. 6:10-18.  I love hearing about the armor God has given us to use in our struggle against the devils schemes!  These verse are worthy of memorizing!
One commentary I read said something profound, "All human life is a warfare; the Christian life is the most so; but the struggle will not last always."
Whew,  for that!😳

The verse that always strikes me anew is, "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."  (Eph. 6:13)

I love that!!  It does not say that "after you have done everything, you can count the dead demons strewn around your feet', or "count the converts standing with you because of your victory."  NOPE, it just says, "after you have done everything, to stand."

We will …

Ephesians 1-3, Day 79~ Brought near to God.

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My husband and I had the opportunity to go to Ephesus on a trip titled, "Footsteps of Paul".  When we arrived in Ephesus, our tour bus took us to the entrance of the gates that guarded ancient streets   uncovered by archeologists.  After paying admission, we made our way down the main street to the stadium, relatively still in tact, that had been built into a hillside.

As a group, we thought it would be cool to have a little worship service.  However,  as we sat, our tour guide said, out of respect to others tourists who may not hold the same beliefs as us, we should be as quite as possible.  We settled into the ancient stone seats, gazed off into the distance at the Aegean Sea and listened to our pastor's devotion. While doing so, we started to hear singing from across the stadium.  We looked over to the group that was a little larger than ours.  They appeared to be Asian (come to find out they were Korean) and were singing in a foreign language.  As we listened closel…

Galatians 5-6~ Day 78~ Carry each others burdens.

I'm getting ready to talk with a group of moms Friday, so my mind is focused on what I am going to say.  (I don't have it completely planned yet.😬)  But, God's word always seems to speak to me at the right time and a new way!

This stood out to me, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (6:2)

Since I am focused on moms these days, this verse made me think back to my MOPS days.  MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) was all about this verse!  The leaders encouraged young, new moms to reach out and help fellow, new moms.

If a mom had a baby-"What day would you like to bring her a meal?'If a husband was hurt or illness struck- "What day would you like to bring a meal?" If a mom is newly pregnant, sick as a dog, and needs to deal with the other sibling-"Stay in bed and tell me what time you want me to come get little Johnny to get him to his basketball practice...and what time do you want me to deliver …

Galatians 3-4 ~ Day 77~ The Nanny

Mary Poppins was a darn good nanny!  She guided those Bank's children into right living when they were young and later in their adult years!  (Mary Poppins Returns was a great sequel!  You should see it, if you haven't already!)

The lesson we can learn form Mary Poppins is that she was the nanny, not the parent and she knew her role.   Thinking of her helped me to understand Paul's analogy, "the law was our guardian until Christ came.." (3:24)
"Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God?  Absolutely not!" (3:21)
Was Mary Poppins opposed to the parents?  Absolutely not! She was put in place until Mr. Banks was able to be with his children.

Well, that's as far as the Mary Poppins analogy goes...unlike Mr. Banks who finally steps into his role as an active father, God had a perfect plan and knew exactly when Christ would step into the role of our redeemer (4:4).

The beauty of the Mary Poppins analogy (if you know the story), is that the kid…

Galatians 1-2~ Day 76~ Skip to my Lou!

Do you remember the movie Big from the 80's?  I love the character that Tom Hanks play!  A teenage boy, named Josh,  finds himself in an adult body after he makes a wish.  There is a scene where Josh is walking along in his new adult body with a strut in his step and a smile on his face, like he didn't have a care in the world.  It looked strange or comical for the viewer because....well....adults don't walk like that!  Adults are burdened with the worries of the world, so their gait is more sober and purposeful. (Don't think anymore of the movie, I'm just referring to the child like strut in the adult.)
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Anyway, I was thinking about the freedom we have in Christ, the gospel that Paul was preaching, and thought, we Christians should be strutting around with that lighthearted skip!!  Life should be exhilarating and fun when we truly feel free from the burden of sin!!

Paul knew that!  He felt that freedom and wanted everyone else to experience it!  So, I understan…

2 Corinthians 12-13~ Day 75~ Examine yourself!

I'm going to the dentist today. 😣Not my favorite thing! I go because I need a check up to see if I am taking care of my teeth.  I think I will pass the test!  I brush a couple times a day and I floss every night, so my teeth should be pretty good. There might be a few places that need scraping, but over all, I usually get a good report.
But, there are some who finally go to the dentist to be examined, and the hygienist finds the patient has not been flossing and gum disease abounds!!  Those people may think their teeth look good, but those teeth are actually getting ready to fall out!

OK, that was a long analogy, but it was what I thought about when I read, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.   Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you -unless of course, you fail the test? (2 Cor. 13:5)

Just like a bright smile that can fool others, a person can fool others and themselves into thinking he/she is a Christian.  Yet, deep down, the pe…

2 Cor. 10-11~ Day 74~ Satan vs. God

You have heard me say this before, it's becoming my mantra, "Satan teaches the exact opposite to what God teaches on every point!"

Where do I get that?  Well, John 8:44 says that Satan is the father of lies.  And I know he goes around teaching those lies by what Paul says in Ephesians 6:12 and our reading today, "For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (10:3-5)

Satan's lies are the strongholds Paul is referring to and the arguments and pretensions that "sets itself up against the knowledge of God" (that's were I get my word "opposite" from)  If God's word says one thing, the father of lies will set himself up against …

2 Cor. 7-9 ~ Day 73~ Clean up the house!

"Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence. (7:1)

That is the first sentence of chapter 7, but it clearly goes with the previous chapter.  I wonder why they broke it up that way?  Since Paul goes on to a new thought, I almost missed what he was saying!  The use of the word "therefore" is a call to action!  So, I can't help ask myself, do I strive for perfect holiness out of my reverence for God?

I like how Spurgeon, (a famous preacher in the 1800's) says, "If God dwells in us, let us make the house clean for so pure a God."  That made me think, yeah, if the president of the U.S. was coming to my house for dinner, you can bet I would clean my house from top to bottom, take a shower and do my hair!  How much more would I want everything to be perfect for my all powerful God?!

So, Paul says the knowledge of the promises should play…

2 Corinthians 4-6~ Day 72~ New bodies!!

I lover chapter 5!  It makes me excited about the new body I'm going to get!  I could totally relate when Paul says, "For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwellings, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life." (5:4)  I'm groaning all right! 😜 Arthritis, old (er) aches and pains can drag one down mentally!  It's exciting to think about a day when all pain is gone, don't you think?!

The spiritual body in the future is one thing Paul talks about, but he shifts to talk about the here and now as well.  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" (5:17)

We don't need to wait to get to heaven to feel no pain or suffering due to the sins of our past.  The pain caused by guilt or shame has been lifted!  We Christians need to embrace this new reality now!  The pain is gone!  Don't gi…

2 Cor. 1-3~ Day 71~ We need our time with God!

This section of scripture stood out to me, "I call God as my witness- and I stake my life on it- that it was in order to spare you that I did not return to Corinth.  Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm." (2 Cor. 1:23-24)

What is Paul saying?  I had to do some digging.   Well, I read several commentaries to try to break it down and get some understanding.  This is what I came away with: it's like Paul is saying he didn't want to add "insult to injury" so to speak.  He had just written a letter that was both hard to write and hard to hear (2:3).  He didn't want to discipline the Corinthian church again on issues they were dealing with.  Rather, by stating, "it is by faith you stand firm", it's like he is saying, "I'm not going to come and lord over you or exhort my power to get you to change! Instead, I'm going to let God do the work in you, since your fa…

1 Cor. 14-16 ~ Day 70~ A curse be on him??

The words at the close of this letter caught me by surprise again!  So, I went back and read a previous post that addressed the wording, "let that person be cursed".  I appreciated the reading the possible intent of Paul's wording, so I thought I would post it again.  Hopefully it can give some insight for any new readers that may have been confused at Paul's choice of words.


As I am reading, I am almost being lulled to sleep with sweet words of, “Do everything in love..”, “I was glad,…”, “…they refreshed my spirit..” (16:14-18)   Calm words in a peaceful goodbye….😌  And then I turn the page….“If anyone does not love the Lord- a curse be on him.  Come, O Lord!” (16:22) 😳  Boy, did my eyebrows shoot up!  I’m thinking, “Whaaat?”  What happened to all the warm and comforting, good-bye words?! What is Paul saying?????
Then I thought about Paul.   This actually fits right in line with all his preaching!  Remember, he is the guy who says, “I have become all things to all me…

1 Cor. 11-13~ Day 69~ In vogue or not, God’s word stands.

OK, we come to a chapter I think most Christians gloss over as being socially relevant in today’s US culture. I’m going to go a little deep here, so I hope you hang on to the end and give me your thoughts!

Before I get into the controversial chapter, I have a few questions.  Would you agree with Paul’s views on fleeing from sexual immorality (6:18), his thoughts about getting married or not (7:25-28), or what he says about eattng food sacrificed to idols (8:9))?  What about his warning to avoid temptation (10:13) and his encouragement to take communion in a proper manner (11:27), would you agree with that teaching?

I would and I do! So, why, all of a sudden when reading 1Cor. 11:7, do I bristle, as I’m sure other women do as well, when reading, “A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image of  and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.”  (1 Cor. 11:7). And some may want to entirely toss out, “For man did not come from woman, but woman from man, neither was man creat…

1Cor 9-10~ Day 68~Not everything is beneficial.

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Did you notice that Paul repeats himself? Paul uses the same quote twice. He must’ve gotten a letter from these Corinthian’s who felt their freedom in Christ so strongly, they said, “I have the right to do anything!”
But, Paul says, that may be so, but not at the detriment of another. (1 Cor. 6:12 & 10:23) Our freedom is rooted in love.   Out of love, everything we do needs to be for the good of others (10:24).  This isn’t new teaching that Paul made up. He got it from Jesus who was reiterating what God has said from the beginning!
“In everything, than do to others as you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12)
Ahh, the Golden Rule!



1 Cor. 6-8~ Day 67~ Undivided devotion

Watch your reading plan!  It's switching form 2 to 3 chapters for a few days.  With that, look on the bright side, you will get more continuity in the letter!
That was the case for me with today's reading.  Instead of reading these chapters as a list of do's an don'ts, I read it from the perspective of the devoted followers who had asked Paul their list of questions (7:1).
I was endeared to these new believers who had such a strong desire to follow Jesus whole heartedly that they were willing to not get married, willing to change their lifestyle to follow Jesus, and they felt the freedom that is in Christ so they didn't care about the "taboo" of certain meat.  Their devotion was inspiring to me!
Yet, in their devotion, they needed some clarification:  Do I leave my unbelieving spouse?  Do I push the point that it is OK to eat anything?

Praise God, Paul took the time to answer all their questions!  AND, the letter was so valuable to them, they saved it!! …

1 Cor. 3-5~ Day 66~ Three chapters today!

I think chapter 5 is really hard to read and hard to implement when necessary.  "Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?  Get rid of the old yeast..." (5:6-7)

Welllll... a little yeast won't spread over to me! It's not my job to get rid of the yeast!  Only pastors should do that!  If we got rid of all bad yeast, there would be no bread!! Let's just try to keep the peace.  Who am I to judge if the yeast is bad or not?.......
Be honest...you've had those thoughts!  I think most would agree Paul is asking the church to do something really hard!!

While reading today, I got  a new perspective.  I focus too much on the hard act of getting rid of the bad yeast when in reality the focus should be on the latter part of verse 7,  "so that you may be a new unleavened batch -as you really are......unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (verse 7 and end of 8).  I was thinking...instead of focusing on the hard part, focus on t…

1 Corinthians 1-2~ Day 65~Without the Spirit, it seems foolish..

Yesterday I got the opportunity to share the full gospel with a gal who came into the center where I work.  I asked her if I could "share some spiritual things" with her.  She said yes and admitted she knew nothing of God or Jesus.  She grew up in a home void of anything spiritual, but filled with alcohol abuse and neglect.
So, I launched into the topic from the beginning "God created the heavens, the earth and YOU!"  I explained the word "sin" (remember, she knew nothing) and how it separates us from God.  I also explained how Christ brings us back into a right relationship with God.

While I was speaking and looking at her face, I could practically hear her thoughts, "This story sounds like fiction!" So, I talked about faith and true belief in this true story and the power of God.  Ultimately, she confessed she was not ready to believe, full heartedly, in what I was telling her.

I couldn't help think of her today when I read, "The per…

Romans 15-16~ Day 64~Old Testament has a lot more for us than we think!

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Just the other day I was thinking about Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."

It's hard not to have that one memorized!  It's on every Christian plaque, poster, mug, graduation card  and blanket!  I was wondering if we have gone too far with that verse because, in deed, God was saying it to the Israelites.  The verse is actually written in a letter from Jeremiah to the "serving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon" (Jer. 29:1).

The Lord was saying, through Jeremiah, that he was going to bring the exiles back to Jerusalem at the end of 70 years,  and he had this plan forthem. So, why do we use that promise today?  What makes us think that the verse originally meant for the exiles can be applied to us?

Because of what Paul s…

Romans 12-14~ Day 63~ Christian living

We come to a transition in Paul's letter.  He goes from deep theological points to guidelines on how to live as a Christian among those who are not saved.

Since I was quite wordy on part two of yesterday's blog, I thought I would be brief today.  That might be appreciated by those of you I may have messed up and found yourself reading 4 chapters today, like I did!! πŸ˜›

So, what stood out to you in today's reading of "Christian living"?

Romans 9-11~ More thoughts on Day 62 😁

Confession here! I misplaced my reading plan for a few days and just hoped we were still reading 2 chapters a day.  Sure enough we weren't! 😝
So,  just thought I would post some bonus thoughts on the reading and get myself caught up!

"It does not depend on human effort, but on God's mercy." (Romans 9:16) That simple verse stood out to me today.  Following Christ is a matter of truly believing in Jesus (a belief that shows like a grateful servant) and then professing that faith to others (10:9).

Simple!! But there is an entity that works overtime to complicate and confuse everyone.  You've heard me say this before, Satan teaches the exact opposite on every single Godly principle!  His goal is to complicate things! "When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." (John 8:44)

I think Paul spent some time trying to clarify 9:16 because his mixed audience of Jew and Gentile Christians may have been grappling with some…

Romans 7-8~ Day 62~ God is working for our good!!

It seems I have been quoting Romans 8:28 quite a bit lately!  It's a great verse to memorize because there is so much hope contained in the words, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

But.....the hope is only there for "those who love him".  You can't flippantly throw that verse out to someone who doesn't know or love Jesus. The promise isn't for everything to turn out good in this life time.  The hope is the good that will come in the next lifetime, for those who believe.
Yes, God can also turn things out so that the believer is blessed in this lifetime as well, but the ultimate "good" is our "adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies." (8:23)  That's it!  That's what we groan for inwardly and "wait eagerly" for.

Again, it's a great verse to share with a fellow believer who is going through a hard time.  It g…

Romans 6-8~ Day 61~ Pattern of teaching πŸ’ƒπŸ»

So what stood out to you in the reading?

This verse stood out to me today, "But thanks be to God that though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance (6:17).
..."the pattern of teaching"....you learn a pattern and then it comes naturally from the heart.   I like that!
I thought of the cup song when I read that!  Once you learn the pattern to the cup song, it comes so naturally, you can do it without thinking. But, it first takes learning the steps and then practicing it!

Paul says that's what these Roman believers did. The pattern to learn is the same pattern the first Christians did in Acts 2:42, "Be devoted to the apostles teaching, fellowship, communion and prayer." That is what we are to do.

Yes, we are slaves to righteousness as believers and know what is right, without even thinking, but sometimes we mess up.  The beauty I find in the above verse is that the Hol…

Romans 3-5~ Day 60~ It's always been about faith in Jesus!

So, I have always kind'a stumbled through this confusing passage,
"He (God) did this (present Christ as a sacrifice) to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." (3:25-26)

What does it mean that he "left the sins committed beforehand unpunished"?  Well, I read a commentary that helped me better understand what Paul meant.  "It's not that God failed to punish these old sins.  It's that he stored up His punishment and poured it out on Jesus to fully satisfy the payment for those "former sins".

Well, that makes sense since I know that Christ died for all my past, present and future sins.  He died for the sins of those in the past too!  Those who were "justified" by Christ's blood that would have been shed in their future …