8:25 PM GMT
It’s been one of those weekends -
…where you struggle to take in all that has occurred…
It *Last night still doesn’t seem real.
Our service this morning was incredible, I mean God’s presence really moved, to the point where I practically threw my guitar from my hands (strap still attached), because I couldn’t get my hands in the air quickly enough! ….dang, God knows how to make His presence known in style.
Church was followed by a roadtrip to Bedford to check out an outdoor supplies retailer, on account of two upcoming adventures:
- Climbing Mount Snowdon next weekend
- Skiing in Switzerland in April
Our product research was informative, and entertaining….but ultimately fruitless, ha.
The only thing we bought was the McDonalds we consumed whilst looking on in disbelief at what I can only describe as a man who seemed to have a wardrobe inspired by the wonderful title garment in ‘Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’.
We came back, relaxed together for an hour and watched the first episodeof Sherlock series 2, A Scandal in Belgravia, as a few people present hadn’t watched it…..ahh, I do love that programme!
After that came Youth Bible study, and my character study on Abraham went down really well, as did the exercise where I gave them a blank Twitter profile and asked them to fill in what they thought he might tweet, had he possessed the technology to do so in his time. Hilarious results!
Now here I am at home, ready to watch the final 2 episodes of my Big Bang Theory boxset, possibly play the piano/guitar/both (not simultaneously), and chow down on some food of some description!
But listen to me jabbering on, tell me about your Sunday!
12:06 AM GMT
Discipleship Study: Romans 8 (part 2)
Made it this far? Well done you! But we’re not done yet: There is more wondrous truth to be found here in the second part! I hope you’ve been for a toilet break, haha…
v17 - “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
These words are so humbling. In return for sharing in the suffering of Christ through that which we ourselves suffer here on earth, and sharing in the hatred the world threw upon him as we are despised for the stand we take in God, we are made co-heirs with Christ.
Jesus Christ, who hung on a cross just so that we could have eternal life with God, is His Son. Family. By living a life of righteousness, honouring God in all we do, we share an EQUAL portion of glory to Jesus…imagine that; looked after and rewarded on par with the Saviour of all Mankind. People’s decision to deny God continues to baffle me.
v18 - “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
No explanation needed. I could not agree more with Paul; weigh it up for yourself and see. That friend you’ve fallen out with…the struggles you’re having with family or that persistent health problem that won’t leave you alone…is it worth giving in to it, taking your eyes off of the God who sustains us, and wasting a promise of eternal joy and rejoicing?
I thought not.
v20-21 - “…in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.”
This is the closing part of a small section that talks of ‘creation’, but this part sticks out to me the most. How beautiful a day that would be - to see all of creation freed from the chains that bind it, and come into the fullness of God that we, as children of God, already know. May our hearts be well and truly for the lost, friends.
v24-25 - “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Nobody hopes for a Birthday present they already know they will be getting…you don’t hope for wages at the end of your working month, for you are assured of them. The same applies here: Why place your hope in an eternity that God guarantees us as a reward for living faithfully? Instead let our hopes be for the things that are not yet set in stone, that they might be better spent and not wasted on things we know as fact!
v26 - “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
We’ve all been there; you’ve set aside time to be in prayer with God, but you just cannot seem to find the words to bring anything forth from your mouth. No worries, friends - God knows the prayers of our hearts even when we cannot recall them, and even noises that form no words can be interpreted by the Spirit on our behalf.
v28 - “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.”
Lovelovelove this verse. God works for us, you know…some falsely claim that Christians do so much for God and never get anything back, but this puts that myth to rest once and for all. God WORKS for our benefit!
v29-30 - “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”
This wonderful, enriching journey that we undertake, begun by Jesus as the first of 'many brothers and sisters' (a warm reminder of our attachment and relation to one another in Christ!), was all planned before we even entered into a relationship with Him. And in predestining this, we were subsequently called, justified, and even glorified in Christ!
v31-32 - “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
If you’re familiar with the song Our God Is Greater, it paraphrases this section perfectly;
"And if our God is for us, then what could ever stop us?"
What, indeed. This is not set as an open-ended question, for us to investigate the possible answers, but as a rhetorical question of defiance against the enemy, to which we already know the answer: NOTHING.
v33-35 - “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
This is a build-up to one of the greatest passages of scripture I believe we will ever have the joy of encountering. Look at the answers to the opening questions - who will bring charge? "God who justifies"…Who can condemn? None, because of "Christ Jesus who died"…not a mention of any mortal human power in sight…and what about this last question - Who or what shall disconnect us from that perfect the love of God?
v36 - “As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” “
This is the reality of what we endure each and every day as we run the race for God…and when we face that ‘death' throughout the daily hours, are we ever on our own? …
v37-39 - “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Man alive, what a passage. We are MORE than conquerors. Through Him we are made stronger and mightier than historical rulers who have led ten thousand-strong armies into battle and claimed entire countries for their own.
And, in closing, Paul proclaims that nothing…EVER…will ever be able to separate us from the love of our Heavenly Father…you could spends hours making a list of things you think would cut you off from His loving embrace, and God would come right along and cross every single thing off, saying "you keep trying my child, you’re not gonna find one."
So there it is, finito!
…in a few weeks I’ll be back to do my next round of study notes…
Romans 1-8 provides guidance, challenges, encouragement, wisdom and clarity, but above all TRUTH - a message of truth that I pray sinks into our hearts, brothers and sisters in Christ, for our own benefit, that we might grow closer to Christ and be developed in our walk with God with each new day of this year and every other! Let the set of 366 fresh days in 2012 be a continuously fresh start for your relationship with God whenever needed.
Thank you for your patience with these posts my dear friends; I know the posts have been long and perhaps far too lengthy a read for you to follow them through to the very end, but I do not apologise :) ….no matter how much nor how little you’ve read I thank you, and praise the Lord for giving me so much to share with you from my heart! I’m always here should you have a prayer request, something to get off your chest, or you just wish to say hello!
Love and New Year blessings to you all!
Your eternal friend and brother in Christ,
11:24 PM GMT
Discipleship Study: Romans 8 (part 1)
**THOSE OF YOU WHO LOVE TO READ WILL ENJOY THIS ESPECIALLY, I HOPE!**
Well folks, New Year’s Day seems a fitting day to discuss a chapter that talks about our new life in God…
Today is Romans 8, the last of my chapters before another member of my discipleship group takes his turns at sharing notes, so this is it from me for a few weeks until it’s my turn again. In the meantime, we’ll get started…In case you hadn’t seen, this chapter is being done in 2 parts, on account of how much God has put on my heart to share with you all! I’m SO stoked to get it all on here (and it took a fair few hours of typing I tell you, ha!)
It’s a monumental amount of reading I know…I’m not sorry about that at all, however! …but gee whizz, you’re missing out on some nourishing truths if you choose not to…I promise you that you won’t regret it, friends! Anywho, without further ado, let’s get underway;
v1 - “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”
Let’s investigate the details of that verse:
‘Therefore’ - An adverb which means consequently..in other words, everything said previously has been leading up to this.
‘there IS NOW’ - Not 'will be tomorrow', not 'was, a few weeks back but not anymore'…but there exists right NOW, in the very present moment…and tomorrow, it will still be a case of NOW, in your tomorrow…ever-present, constantly ready and there.
‘NO condemnation’ - None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Rien. At no point between now and eternity, will anything we do separate us from the love of God. He bears no grudges, keeps no recollection of our wrongdoings. With God, a clean slate is well and truly wiped clean of transgression when we seek heartfelt repentance in conviction.
‘for those who are in Christ Jesus’ - This promise applies to ALL who have an active walk with Christ. Those of the world will seek to tear us down and judge us, but what a great comfort to know that the only One we really answer to, who oversees our eternal future, will never condemn us for the faults we continue to make, for He understands our struggles. He seeks only to bring us through them that we might be refined..what a loving Father!!
v3-4 - “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Incredible; Jesus was sent to fulfill what the law could not. This aptly demonstrates his power over sin…Christ achieved what an entire system of law failed to; and to think there are still those in the world who believe Jesus to be powerless…the governments and rulers of this world, power-hungry, self-consumed and dominating as some of them are, will one day bow before Christ, forced from the earthly thrones they inhabited that they might recognise a far greater, purer, truer and more deserving figure of authority!
This, too, is mind-blowing: "in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." …what this is saying is that Jesus was crucified so that we might be able to fully meet the quota that the law demanded…it is our life choices, coupled with the sacrifice of the Son of God, that render the mission complete.
How amazing that God CHOSE for us to have the opportunity to take part in this process, that we might portray our faith, and use the chance to show God how much this golden opportunity means to us! He could easily have completed it by His own power, but rather than this He includes us in the process, charging us with a task which is so much more a privilege than a 'job', by the ‘tedious-hardship’ standard it is so often perceived as in the worldly sense. So many people do not enjoy their work and gain no job satisfaction…this could not be more opposite to the concept of being about the Lord’s work! What a considerate God we serve!!
v6 - “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
We’ve covered in previous chapters that the road of sin leads to death, and the road of righteousness leads to life, but here we find that peace gets a mention also. So many people talk of needing peace over something, or feeling troubled by something. Well, this verse clearly states that if our mind is wholly governed by the Spirit, we have that peace readily available. We need not even ask for it, as through God it is ingrained…pre-built into our own mind…we simply ensure we are approaching our situation with a mindset of the Spirit, and we will be given that peace that some seem to seek but never find!
v7-8 - “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”
Very plain to understand: If in any way we are not submitting to His law, even in the smallest imperfections, we are being ‘hostile' to God, and cannot please Him…
Let me ask this; do you want to please God? Of course, I hear you cry, as followers of Christ we all do…or at least we should! It’s almost beyond comprehension to consider that the very Maker of Heaven and Earth loves to look upon us…we who are tiny on a cosmic scale…it warms His heart to gaze at us with a beaming grin, thinking "You are doing well, my good and faithful servant".
It’s like when you’re younger - when it came to parents evening at school. If your teacher praised you for your hard work, or being helpful, your parents might break eye contact with the teacher that they might look upon you, and show you how much it pleased them to hear these good reports. When you see that smile, as a small child, it lights up your heart to know that your parents are content, delighted, proud with the effort you have made. God is the same - When He sees that we are making an effort for Him, it causes rejoicing in Heaven!
If that is the feeling we want to give to the One responsible for our salvation and our very being, then let us shake off even the smallest things of the flesh, for they block us from being able to put a smile on the glorious face of our Creator.
v9-10 - “You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.”
So long as the Spirit of God is active within us, we are assured that we dwell in the realm of the Spirit, and though our bodies remain vulnerable to, and targeted by, the way of the flesh, the Spirit sets us free from captivity in all areas.
v11 - “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”
This verse, for me personally, holds so much relevance, considering the mistakes I made in giving myself away when I was younger, and foolish. This verse gives me hope, because just as I used to torment myself that my purity died on that day, this verse reinstates that my once dead body is raised to new life in Christ, which makes my heart so, so glad. Do you feel weak and weary? The power of God is at hand to renew your fatigued bones and raise you up into a life that is vibrant, animated and alive!
v12-13 - “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
Our obligation is to put to death the failings of the flesh; an obligation that brings life and cleanses us…That’s an obligation we should all WANT to fulfill!
v14-15 - “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” “
Ahhh, pure *shivers up the spine* moment….we are the children of God..the Spirit within us confirms our adoption by God, a result of the choice we make when recognising Him as our Father and Redeemer.
Think about that moment when you’ll hold (or when you held) your child for the first time after their birth. When they look into your eyes and know you, as their father or mother…the unfiltered, raw LOVE that courses through your veins, perhaps even tears of joy streaming down your face…
That’s how God felt when you first accepted Him as your Father. Feels mighty good, doesn’t it. :)
This concludes Part 1…Part 2 will follow shortly, so if you need drink/food/the toilet/to run around outside so you remember what the outside world is like…
ahaaa, I’m joking…Can’t beat spending time in the word of God!
See you in Part 2!
Love, peace and New Year prosperity in Christ,
11:47 PM GMT
Discipleship Study: Romans 6
We now come to Romans 6, but before I begin, let me just say to you, whether you have been following these notes from Chapter 1 or are seeing them for the first time:
Be blessed, my dear brothers and sisters; I know it can be a lot of reading, but I bring to you what God has put on my heart not to impress with word count but to share His movement and understanding within me, and I sincerely hope it touches your hearts with even an ounce of the conviction and power that it met my own with.
Now, where was I…
Romans 6 explains just how we can benefit from the state of grace that we are called to live in through the price Jesus paid for our sin:
v2 - “By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”
…this picks up where my notes on chapter 5 left off. Remember that as sin was rife in the world, God’s grace was on the increase to cater for the transgressions of all mankind. When this verse asks if we should then live by sin that we might gain even more grace, Paul’s response is a clear one - our sin-based life ended when we accepted Christ’s death on the cross as God’s perfect sacrifice. We still sin, but this comes as a result of temptation, and the enemy’s plan for our old nature…he wants it to resurface, to regain a hold of us and weigh us down, but we must learn to know better, friends! We have freedom in Christ! The chains are BROKEN!
v5-7 - “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”
…and there you have it; our old self had nails driven through it, our old self hung there for that time, and just as Christ died, so did our old nature; just like Christ’s death, it was very REAL. Our unity with Jesus does not end in his death, however. We are joyously reunited with him through his resurrection, as he was raised into new life from the grave, so were our bodies raised into new spiritual life following his act of selflessness! Add to that the defining statement that our death to sin means we are SET FREE (v7), no longer bound by the chains that once held us captive, but now captivated by God….it’s almost too magical for words, isn’t it? AMEN! :D
v8-10 - “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.”
He cannot die again; likewise, WE cannot die again. We died a definite death to sin, and as a result of that the power of sin holds no authority over us! It is our new life that defines us; a life lived to God, that is eternal…it does not end! Once God holds our hearts He does not let go; though we may stray and wander, He will forever keep us in His sight and in the palm of His mighty hands!
v12-14 - “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
Reinforcing the importance of remembering that Christ suffered death on a cross that we might be set free from the power of sin over us; if you are willing to accept that Christ died for you, then you should also accept the death of your old self, and whole-heartedly seek to keep from falling into the traps your old self would indulge in. When faced with temptation, in those flickering moments where a choice is made to rise above or fall into sin, remember Jesus’ blood was shed for THESE moments, that you might choose to be an instrument of His goodness, rather than a tool of the enemy. Remember also that under the New Covenant of the Lamb, you are now under grace, not the law that bound Abraham and the people of the Old Testament.
v16 - “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
The stark truth revealed - we are slaves of the one we obey. If we choose to be slaves to sin, then the dominion of the enemy is still at work, trying to revive our old self. If, however, we are slaves to righteousness, we submit to the authority and will of God, and we can freely live in His light, and believe me friends, if we are slaves to Christ, it WILL show both outwardly AND inwardly in our lives.
v17 - “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.”
Man alive, I love this verse - God has won our allegiance. Like true comrades in an ongoing battle, we fight side by side with the ever-present and moving power of God, but also with and for the very same spirit of Christ that dwells within our fellow brothers and sisters. We wage an eternal war against sin, that, even now, we already know the outcome of. As a believer in our God and all He promises, if this is not a steadfast reason to be eternally joyful, faithful and faith-filled, courageous, valiant for the Lord, and determined to share His love, word and works in all we do then I just don’t know what is. Let us just be sure we are fighting for the right side even in the little things!
v20-22 - “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”
Looking back, we realise that the sin we used to live in brought us nothing of any worth, only a future of death. Having said that, we are now called to look not back, but forwards; looking ahead to the benefit we can reap of eternal life! Providing we remain true to His word and guidance, what a glorious promise we have in God!
v23 - “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
A wonderful closing statement to this incredible and nourishing chapter, and the perfect summary of what we must remember when we face those instances of choice; should we choose to cave to the temptation, we bring upon ourselves the wage of sin, and must then seek God for redemption with a convicted heart. But why give in to the enemy’s calling when we can graciously accept the gift that God has prepared for us, and in those times of trial seek His face in prayer, fellowship, the reading of His word…all of this, when combined with a life actively lived to glorify His name, brings us ever closer to that gift; the gift of eternal life in heaven, friends!
I’d like for you to take a moment, as will I, to reflect upon what it is that we are slaves to, my dear, dear friends. Are we slaves to righteousness in every aspect of our lives, or are there things that remain hidden from public view that still have a hold of some capacity over our lives? If that is so, my prayer today is that we would enter into the fullness of His grace and be renewed in our minds and bodies, breaking free from the constraints that seek to weigh us down and hold us back from pressing on in God to the very fullest!
Peace, patience, joy and provision be with you all, dear ones.
Love eternal in Christ,
Discipleship Study: Romans 5
Well, after a short festive break, it’s back to the notes i’ve been making while studying Romans! Today is the turn of Chapter 5; I’m not going to sum this one up before you read it as I don’t want to spoil it or give you a get-out clause as it were…I want you go ahead and be able to take it all on board for yourselves. May it bless you even more so than it did me! :)
v2 - “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we 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.”
…'we also glory in our sufferings' ; seems a strange notion, doesn’t it? When we are enduring hardships, the last thing we want to do is give thanks for them, for they can bring us discomfort, confusion and hurt. However, God knows what He’s doing, and He knows full well that the endurance of these trials will refine us and bring about a strengthening of our being, producing, as it says here, perseverance; which in turn feeds through into our character; and the strengthening of our character develops a heightened sense of hope. This hope is built on a foundation in God’s love and His eternal promise of safekeeping!
v6 - “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”
At just the right time; God, in His wisdom, knew exactly when this needed to take place. We were not powerless in terms of earthly authority, but, I believe, powerless in reference to the power of God being at work in the hearts of all mankind, and the words in v8 support this, in my opinion; "While we were still sinners". The fact that they were willing to condemn Christ to death on a cross shows that the transforming power of God was absent from the majority of mankinds hearts…the perfect conditions, then, for God to provide a new way through the sacrifice of the Lamb. The most important thing here, is that the death of Christ cannot be seen as some mere historical event which has unfolded because of circumstances, such as war or appointment of political powers…the death of Christ was meticulously planned FOR these circumstances, not simply as a RESULT of them.
v10 - “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!”
This beautifully illustrates the before-and-after of our standing with God; before we were seen as His enemies (by our understanding, not God’s! We just weren’t getting the message!) because of the uncleansed sin in our lives. He sent His Son as the ultimate sacrifice to reconcile us, nailing our sin to the Cross with Christ and then, through Jesus’ resurrection, we ourselves were resurrected into new life under the grace of God! What an amazing gift! That certainly got the message across. :D
v16 - “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.”
v18-19 - “Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 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.”
The closing verses provide many different ways of saying the same thing; that just as Adam’s decision to follow HIS desires condemned us all to death, so Christ’s decision to follow His desires gave us the road of sanctification and showed us the way into a state of grace with God; a grace that we soon find has been building up all along:
v20-21 - ” The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
There we have it; where sin was constantly growing in the hearts of man, God was increasing His grace the whole time! In doing this, the death of Christ saw a release of grace that was sufficient to cover all mankind; not just for those alive at the time, but for you and I, friend…
…that’s right, God’s plan throughout the growth of sin in the Old Testament was to raise up a level of grace that could coexist with the resulting righteousness achieved through Jesus’ crucifixion, and would be sufficient for you and I, for your friends and family, your boss, your grandparents, that person who gets the same bus you do every morning, the children in reblogs you see here on Tumblr, even people in prison for murder…all who are walking the earth almost 2,000 years after the act took place…and if that doesn’t get the shivers going up your spine, get this:
That grace we talked about? Well, it will continue to be more than sufficient for everyone who will EVER live. Your future children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren…those who come into this world centuries after you have passed on be with Him…for each of those people, that same perfect sacrifice and grace will STILL be freely available and capable of holding them also…
Now THAT is forward thinking. A gift from Him that is continuously upholding EVERY single ONE of the 7 billion people on this planet…and yet some, unfortunately, out of choice or not, do not know this gift for themselves. That is where WE come in friends! We are called to live out a life that shows the difference His love, grace and mercy has made in our own lives.
We need to be impacting the world for Jesus, in our conversations as well as our acts…and just remember; His grace and love was created to cover all who have lived, do live and will live! I pray that we might endeavour to do this more and more in our lives, and not be afraid to help fellow believers who struggle with this!
Bless you my brothers and sisters!
love and encouragement in Christ,
1:09 AM GMT
Discipleship Study: Romans 4
Romans 4 tonight friends! This is where Paul tells us of Abraham’s faith and how it saw him justified wholly in God’s sight and blessed abundantly with an answer to his prayers! …such a great example to us all!
v4-5 - “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.”
…This passage would lead many to question the point of doing good works. Well, since it is by faith we are justified let our works be done with a different intention; to solely glorify the name of God, and show His love in this world, that we might see a lasting legacy left in our wake with His prints all over it!
v8 - “Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
Goodness me, how often do we overlook this glorious truth? We are not only blessed by God, but our sins will never be held against us. Just give that a moment to sink in…not now, never before, and at no point in the future, will God condemn or bear a grudge regarding our falls and stumbles in life. It amazes me that people can still turn down a relationship like this!
v16 - “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.”
As a descendent of Abraham, YOU are entitled to this same justification; you are welcome to receive the promise that He delivers to us when, by grace and repentance, we enter into a committed walk with the Lord and live according to His plan for our lives.
v19-21 - “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. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
Abraham was looking at what many would consider a ‘dead-end’ situation. It looked hopeless. Despite this, he entrusted the situation fully to God, and knew whole-heartedly that God had power to do what He had promised…whatever you may be praying desperately for, friends, be it a sick relative, financial help or for a friend to come to Christ, God has the supreme power needed to make it happen, even if we can’t comprehend it!
And last but by no means least,
v22-25 - “This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Ask and you shall receive, right? God, totally true to His promise, delivered the goods, and Abraham had children; plenty of them in fact, which is no mean feat considering he was into his hundreds! Over time, this has filtered into different nations and lands, culminating in the world population we see today. You, sat there reading this on your laptop, PC or iPhone from the comfort of a bed, floor or chair; YOU are the incredible result of a promise fulfilled by God all those years ago to Abraham..how does it feel? Heart-warming? Purpose-giving? Life-affirming? …it should friend! For through this we are given the opportunity to be credited righteousness in our own lives through Christ’s death on the cross.
Eternal Father, we just THANK You today for the opportunity not only to delve into Your Word, but to just soak in Your presence and be reminded that through your Son’s perfect sacrifice we are set free from the old law that we might gain the chance to be credited righteousness through our faith in You. May our faith be like the toughest diamond, resisting pressure and fire from the enemy, as we seek to establish an ever-constructing relationship with You, God!
Amen! Be encouraged my lovely Tumblrians!
6:41 PM GMT
Acts 4v11 says,
"The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone."
…is Christ the cornerstone of our lives? Or just another piece of debri in a wall constructed from shards that don’t fit together?
In order to truly succeed for Him, Christ must be the building material of choice, God the constructor, and everything built around him, not just forced to fit into a gap as a hasty addition to a wall that will otherwise fall apart when constructed by our own hands!
12:31 AM GMT