Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20
No Shirt, No Shoes? No Problem

Romans 5:6-21  New International Version (NIV)

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We are all very particular in today's world. If people don't quite measure up, they are excluded.
No shirt, no shoes, no service...
Owner has the right to refuse service to anyone.
etc etc etc....
We have standards! We have rules!
We have expectations!

But the Lord.... Creator God..... Almighty and Everlasting... Alpha and Omega...
says to us...
" while you were still steeped in your sin...  you were STILL SINNING.... I died for you."

He didn't make us wait until we could fix ourselves up to meet His standard of Holiness or of Right living...
He said... come on, I will offer you salvation... just believe in me and I will help you to overcome ... I will forgive your sin and give you victory over it.... just believe in me... and you will have a new life... an everlasting life...
What a Savior!
He offers us ... while we are still a mess... a new life in Him.
And then, He helps us get our act together....


Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19
Good Line of Credit...

Romans 4:13-5:5 New International Version (NIV)

13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, 15 because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[a] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”[b] 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Peace and Hope

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[c] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[d] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[e] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
Look into the future with God! See the effect of your decisions in all the future generations of your family. Do you see rich benefits, or spiritual poverty?
Will you begin today to think ahead to those who come after you and even your children?
Will you sow a heritage of faith for them?
Those great grandchildren, great great grandchildren and beyond, will need faith as desperately as we do today.
As the Lord credits righteousness to you as you place your faith in Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection, so it will be for your future family.
Let them have a rich faith heritage to spur them on!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 18
Credit for Righteousness

Romans 4:1-12  New International Version (NIV

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a]
Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are those
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”[b]
Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Things to think about:
vs 3: Are you trusting God in every matter that concerns you?
vs 8: Do you allow yourself to recount the past that God Himself
         refuses to look at?
vs 12: Are you taking constructive, although challenging steps, to walk in
          ever increasing faith?
July 17
That Old Roman Road

Romans 3:9-31  New International Version (NIV)

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[a]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[b]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[c]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[d]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[e]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[f]
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[g] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[h] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished 26 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.
27 Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith. 28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31 Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
The book of Romans is a great place to find a plan of salvation message that you can share with others.
One of the first questions that must be answered when sharing the Gospel is "who is it that needs salvation?"
The answer is found in Chapter 3 verse 23: for, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Without His grace and salvation, we all stand steeped in sin and unable to have a relationship with the Holy God.
However..... and it is a really BIG  HOWEVER! once we realize our sinfulness and sincerely want to stop living in that sinful state... we can pray to receive the gift of grace, mercy ... and the Lord in his great mercy.... will forgive us and cancel our sin...
He rescues us!
Step One on that Roman Road:
Who needs to be saved? 
Because we know that without God, we are black with sin. It is sin upon sin. Unless we allow those sins to be exposed to the Light of Jesus Christ they will remain.
But when we allow the Lord to reveal them to us, we can repent... turn away from them... ask for forgiveness from God the Father, through the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ....and we can be saved...
If you have not yet received this salvation, please know that it is available to YOU right now. Right where you are!
Come with us on the Roman Road....see the plan of salvation unfold as we move through the scripture~


Monday, July 15, 2013

July 16
Revealing God's Righteousness

Romans 2:25-3:8 New International Version (NIV)

25 Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26 So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27 The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the[a] written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

God’s Faithfulness

What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.
What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:
“So that you may be proved right when you speak
    and prevail when you judge.”[b]
But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!
Wrap your mind around this:
Do you see that OUR unrighteousness......
 reveals how very Holy and Perfect God is?
Our human self... exposes the Creator God as the supernatural and faithful God.
His Truth is more plainly seen when we hold ourselves up to it...
Like holding small print up to the light...
It is suddenly readable... visible... understandable
And we are
inhabited by
His Holy Spirit
When we commit our "self" to Him.
LIVES IN US.......

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 15
God’s Righteous Judgment

Romans 2:1-24  New International Version (NIV)

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 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. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

The Jews and the Law

17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”*******************************************
Think about this>>>>>
God's kindness leads me to repent. What do I need to repent of today?

What does God see "written on MY heart?"

Oh Lord.... be my healer, the revealer of all my sins.
Help me to turn away from them and to you and you alone.Amen