Tag Archives: Romans

Plot Twist

Plot TwistThe Pharisees were pretty lowdown. Let’s face it. As we read through the Bible, we pretty much get the feel that they were ridiculous. They were supposed to be upstanding citizens, yet they made it harder for everyone else. They were supposed to know the Scriptures, but didn’t recognize the Scriptures in human form. And they were supposed to be looking forward to the promised Messiah, but instead challenged Him.

At every turn they worked against Jesus, who was supposed to be the very being they were living for. And what’s crazy is that they did even worse things than what they accused Him of.

Mark 3:1-6 (NLT)

Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. 

Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. 

He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus. 

It wasn’t OK for Jesus to heal on the Sabbath, but it was OK for them to plot to kill on the Sabbath? It wasn’t OK for Jesus to give life, but it was OK for them to take it? Somewhere in their minds, this made sense.

And still today, somewhere in our minds it still makes sense. We may not plot to kill, but we do plan on getting drunk this weekend (Ephesians 5:18). We may not work on the Sabbath, but we do plan on sleeping with our boyfriend (1 Corinthians 6:18). We may tithe our 10%, but we certainly won’t give to the poor (Proverbs 28:27). Better yet, we may respect God, but we wont respect the government He has put in place (Romans 13:1).

We may not plot to kill Jesus, but we may plan to kill our own testimony.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Spiritual Cutlery, Part 2

img_4994

4) Listen – Oh be careful little ears what you hear.

  • Music is said to be used for “mood management.”
  • Have we noticed the correlation of disrespect in our culture with the degradation in the music of today?
  • How does certain music make you feel?

Ephesians 5:18-19; Psalm 95:1; Proverbs 2:2

What if you replaced or at least balanced that music with Christian music or an inspirational podcast?

5) TV – You see it and you hear it.

How much time do you spend watching TV? _________________________

How much time do you spend in prayer?      __________________________

We have a culture of desensitized, fantasizing Americans because we have watched too much TV. Forgive me if the stats are outdated now.

  • 56% of divorces involved a spouse with a porn addiction.
  • Average American spends 5 hours a day watching TV, has 5 social media accounts and spends 1 hour and 40 minutes a day on them.
  • Popular shows: The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, Empire, Basketball Wives, Love and Hip-Hop, Modern Family, HTGAWM, News etc…
  • African Americans watch 218 hours a month, while whites watch 155.3, Hispanics 123.2, and Asians 92.3.
  • The average Georgian spends about 12 minutes a day on religious activities.

Psalm 119:37; Isaiah 33:15

  • A mind is a terrible thing to waste, and to put waste into!

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) –  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

The Main Point

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) – For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

  • In essence, the only way to keep your mind sharp, is to keep it filled with the Word.

Vending machine – I put $1.00 in, I get $1.00 worth of food or drink out. I put the Word, and out comes the Word. I put in trash, well, eventually I start to smell it.

Transformation Chamber 

WE are called to live a different life. And that is going to require different time commitments and changes in what we put into our minds.

  • Romans 12:2 (NLT) – Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  • Philippians 4:8 (NLT) – And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Remember the transformation chamber from Family Matters? When Steve mixed the right ingredients, he had the right formula to transform himself. In essence, he looked the same, but he was completely different when the right ingredients went into the chamber. When we step into the Word, our transformation chamber, we may look the same, but we don’t step out the same.

5-Minute Challenge: For one week, spend the first 5 minutes of your day with God (pray, read a devotion, listen to gospel music, or a podcast).

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Jesus + You > Conqueror

This question has been on my mind. And if anyone else has any godly insight to share, feel free to.

OK, the question is, if we are more than conquerors, why do we act so defeated?

A lot of times when I think about my life, I don’t feel victorious. When things aren’t going my way, I don’t really feel like a winner. I don’t feel like more than a conqueror. But, why is that?

Everyday can’t be a winner (can it?), but why do so many days feel like we’ve lost before we have even started?

I think that I simply forget how successful I am in Christ. If every day I reminded myself that as a Child of God I have already won, it would be a lot easier to feel like a winner. And if I didn’t feel like one, it still wouldn’t matter because it wouldn’t change the fact that it’s true.

We get too into our feelings. As Eric Thomas has said, behind your feelings is nothing. And he is so right. At the end of the day, how I feel matters minutely compared to anything else. I don’t always feel like loving, but that doesn’t mean I should stop showing love. I don’t feel like working, but that certainly doesn’t mean that I should stop.

If you don’t feel like more than a conqueror or at least a conqueror, then have you reminded yourself who you are? And to know who you are, you have to know Whose you are. And if you are God’s, you are more than a conqueror. You are a conqueror and then some. And if you don’t feel like it, conquer anyway.

Romans 8:37 (NIV)

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes

Unbelievable

This morning, I was finishing up my morning time, and thinking about how real God is. Lately, I’ve been thinking or having passing thoughts of how I know He exists. You know, if someone were to ask me how do I know He’s real what would I say?

Certainly, He has proven to be real in healing throughout my family, deliverance from many situations, and I’ve seen Him in the ability that others have had to forgive people for some very cruel things. A person who has been abused I truly believe can only forgive their abuser through the grace and strengthening of God.

And I guess the thing that stuck out with me today was, why can I not believe in God? If a person can believe that somehow this world and its creation was formed by chance, isn’t that a bit farfetched? I mean wouldn’t it be easier to believe that there is a God who could put all of this together?

My question is, if you have the right to believe that God doesn’t exist, why is it wrong for me to believe that He does?

If you can believe that this world created itself, and think that makes sense, then why is it completely irrational to believe that God could orchestrate it all?

Romans 1:20 (NLT)

20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Sin, Wrong

20 Items (Sins) or Less

Sarah went to the grocery store today. She had family coming in town and nothing to eat, so she piled up her buggy to prepare a feast. By the time she finished shopping she had two carts full of groceries and other necessities. 

As her things were bagged and she began to check out, she saw that she was spending the last of her money on this “shopping spree.” As she began to hand the clerk her card, the clerk smiled and wished her a great day. Puzzled, Sarah attempted to hand her the card again. The clerk again wished her a great day and did not take her card, telling her that someone paid for her purchase weeks ago. 

As silly as that example may seem, it’s simply what Christ has done for you and me when it comes to salvation. All the baggage I’ve piled up, has already been paid for many many years ago. There’s no layaway except my own delay to accept Christ. There’s no 20 items (sins) or less salvation. It’s simply accepting I’m a sinner and that Jesus has came and died for my sins. It’s needing and believing. Knowing that I needed Christ and that I needed saving in order to spend eternity with God. It’s believing that He is the only way to God.

Christ had to come to make me right with God. And when He came to live, die, and be resurrected, He defeated death. Because of that, I will give and live my life for Him. He has done the work and paid the price for my sin debt. I need Him, believe that!

Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Sin

Change in Relationships Bible Study

Embracing Changes for Good in Relationships: T.I.C.S.

Relationships are important. Relationships are good (Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). And even though they are important and good, there are still times when we don’t want to embrace the new things that come with them. Is it fear? Do we not want to change? Is it the fear of change? Tonight, we will discuss a few components that have to take place in true relationships.

  1. Trust – “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”—Stephen Covey
  • Why is it hard to trust?
  • Trust equals vulnerability, we don’t like to be vulnerable.
  • Read Proverbs 3:5-6: If your trust is in the Lord, He will give you the ability to wisely trust others.
  1. Identity – “The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.”—Richard Grant
  • We don’t like to change who we are, no matter how much we need to, but why?
  • Galatians 3:26; Romans 8:14-16 – I am a child of God.
  • Your most important part of your identity never changes.
  • You don’t know who you are until you know Whose you are. —Ronnie Williams
  1. Compromise – “Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness or a sell-out.”—Paul Kagame
  • Why not compromise?
  • I have to give of myself and trust you will do the same (thus leaving me vulnerable) …
  • Read Philippians 2:3-4: Show others that they matter.

Note: John 14:15: Compromise anywhere you can, but certainly not your beliefs.

  1. Sacrifice – “The most sublime act is to set another before you.” —William Blake
  • We don’t like or want to give up anything (especially if we don’t like to compromise).
  • Read John 15:13 – If giving up my life is great love, why can’t I give up my time, money, pride, etc.?

How can we cope with change?

Reprogram from society’s thinking: Have to v. Get to Mindset

  • We get to grow in these areas.

Question of the Day: If we struggle with these changes, and we are meant to be agents of change what are the steps that we are taking to build relationships with those in our communities who will struggle with the same things?

Beauty and the Beast – The transition of a flourishing relationship when one learns to trust, compromise, and sacrifice to become a better person.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Relationships

Something Eternal

My my my… I read Romans 2:5-8 (Holman CSB) today. Here it is:

But because of your hardness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and indignation to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth, but are obeying unrighteousness;

Does that not make your jaw drop? People are storing up something for eternity! I’m not talking about here on earth and building our estate. No, this isn’t like cushioning your bank account. This is eternal!

And I get excited! I’m good. The good that God does through me is being stored up for eternal rewards. He is doing all the work (Isaiah 26:12 Holman CSB) and I get the eternal benefits!

As a Christian, I think about that and I can always get excited. Christians think about the eternal treasure we are storing up. And it’s great. But today, I read about the ungodly.

Verse 5 really stood out to me because I never think about those aren’t godly storing up anything. I mean, I know there’s Heaven or Hell and we choose, but usually, I don’t think about too much after that. But the Word says, they are storing up wrath for themselves when God’s righteous judgment is revealed.

It’s one thing to make a mistake. It’s one thing to do wrong. But to store up wrongs and unrighteousness is something else. It’s something eternal. There is a choice to be made and we can all make the right one. Eternal life or eternal wrath, you decide.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Sin, Wrong