Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Romans 4

Hands down The Message interpretation of the scripture is the one to read for this chapter! You can read it online at Paul tells us that this is not an Abraham-story it is a God-story. The blessings are for everyone not just for the Jewish people. Abraham is the father of all people, people outside the faith and people inside the faith. It is all about trusting that God can and will work through your life, not because of something you have done but because God has a plan for you. Abraham believed in the impossible. I wonder if we limit God and God's power in our lives.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Romans 3

If you have not figured out already, the book of Romans it complex and deep.
Paul begins with this thought, when we lack faith with our words and with our actions God does not lack faith. The Message interpretation of the Bible reads "God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth." God remains faithful! Paul here is addressing the reality that we cannot save ourselves. We all fall short, we all make mistakes, we all say things we regret. Paul's solution to this dilemma is Jesus Christ. Paul then puts forward his theology of atonement. He believes that the sacrifice of Jesus has brought us all grace and redemption ... Do you agree?
The second question is ... do you believe we are justified by faith? Remembering that faith is more than belief it is a matter of falling in love with God.
Paul finishes with his understanding of the universality of God. God is not only the God of the Jews but also of the Gentiles.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Romans 2

We are instructed not to judge one another. God alone is judge. I am not sure how well we live this advice. I am not sure that those outside of the church believe that we live this.
When we develop a relationship with God, one that is built upon trust, we then can see each other as God sees us, with compassion, with grace, with forgiveness, as God's children.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Romans 1

Paul begins his letter to the church in Rome with powerful words. He names himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. I normally think of myself as a follower of Jesus, the word servant, or slave in the original Greek brings about a subtle change in meaning. To be a slave means to be owned by another. Paul is in essence claiming to be owned by Jesus. Rather than this being a point a lose of freedom it becomes a point of liberation. And we will find throughout Paul's writings, how he takes the language of power (i.e. the political powers) and flips it to have new meaning in God's Kingdom.

In verse 11 he then speaks about mutually encouraging each other. This still applies today! We need the support and mutual encouragement of our faith family and of other believers. Following or serving Jesus is not something that we can do by ourselves.

In verse 16 Paul writes "For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith ..." Do you ever find yourself not sharing your faith for fear that you might be offending someone? Is your faith something you freely share with others?

Onto Romans

I have finished reading Acts, so now I am onto the book of Romans, written by Paul and thought to be his final letter written. I invite you to read along with me!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Acts 21

In the beginning of Acts we read about the Spirit of God moving through the gathered believers and it is what pushes them forward. Now in the 21st chapter I am struck by the movement of Paul, like the Holy Spirit, he is traveling. While we might not be traveling right now, how are we in our daily lives being driven by God's Spirit to move forward?

Storing your treasure

Read Matthew 6:7-21 Back 2001, Dan and I led a mission trip into the mountains of Nicaragua to help with hurricane recovery.   We coul...