What benefit did you reap at the 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. – Rom 6:21-22
Paul is comparing and contrasting two lives. The old life of sin and the new life of grace. What does one reap from both ways of living? Is it better to have lived a life of sin, getting what you want and reaping the consequences? Or is it better to live a life for God and reaping, not only salvation, but also the good benefits that exist before we die? I know for me and my family, we will choose to serve the Lord!
What benefit is there in a life of Sin? Be honest with yourself, there are some really good feeling things that come from a sinful life. The pleasures of the flesh, which can satisfy for a short while, the gaining of power, the influence of dishonesty. All things which can be perceived as gain or benefit. But challenge that none of these is true but all are self-serving and will lead to shame and guilt.
Pleasures of the flesh never last and they will never be enough, there isn’t a high that is high enough or physical pleasure that pleasures enough. We come to seek out the next most sensational thing and become a chaser of our own tails. In Power, it is only perceived power for all power fails or can be taken away. And the influence of a lie always comes back to haunt.
So, what true benefit is there in the ways of the world? None! It is fleeting and never truly satisfying and they all lead to death! However, the life lived in Christ is always satisfying. After reading the scriptures now for 30+ years, I have yet to have God let me down. He has always fulfilled every promise He has ever made for us. God is reliable and steadfast, I have never truly wanted in my life for the needs which sustain me.
I find pure satisfaction in Christ alone. Because of that satisfaction, I now must learn to put to death then the things of the flesh. A dead thing cannot rule in my heart, mind or flesh. Sure, will it pop-up and visit from time to time, yes. However, through repentance, I remained steadfastly turned to God and toss the thief out of my house. Therefore, I have put to death the earthly flesh and don the new creation. I pray that it is ever so, and the repentance is always leading my heart and that the grace of God always covers me.
God be Glorified,
Very rarely will someone die for a righteous man. Although for a good one someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us! – Rom 5:7-8
Paul reveals so much truth in the Scriptures that are found in the letter to the Romans. Here we are being shown the justification by which those who are found in Christ, come to salvation. It is not by my work or the works of any man but purely through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the one who was fully justified by His perfect life.
You see if it were up to me, I would possibly dare to die for a “good” person. After 21 years of service, I would probably lay down my life for someone who I thought was “worth” the effort and sacrifice. But the question came to me as I was reading this, “Would I do for the murder, child molester, or the drug addict?
That is just what Jesus did, He died for the worst of the worst and the best of the best. For if it were left to me and my works, I know I would work really hard for those who had something for me in return. I would sacrifice for those I thought to be worthy. Yet Christ died for all, His justification covers anyone who would come to Him and we are not to stand in the way either.
Praise Jesus I am saved to work, but not by my works or by my own hand. My own justifications would never be enough. I cannot do enough or say enough or bring enough souls to Jesus to cover the sin in my life. So instead, I am going to remember that it is only Christ’s blood that covers me. I am going to stop trying to be saved and stay saved and instead honor Christ by loving others how He loved me, without judgement.
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. – Rom 4:19-21
Here in Romans Paul is talking about Abraham and the faith that he had that was credited as righteousness. He faith was strengthened through his own weakness by the belief in the power of God to accomplish what He had promised.
Abraham’s faith is the same faith we have today, a faith based upon God’s power and promise and not our own strength. God promised Abraham to be the father of all of the faithful; a promise which has been upheld through Christ. And now our faith is in the grace of Christ that comes through His death, burial and resurrection.
So now, my faith, being like Abraham’s, is not based in what I can do, but what God can work through and in spite of me. Sarah was over 90 years old when the promise to her was fulfilled. It was not because she had any capability to bear children, it was because God’s power is greater than our weakness.
Therefore, in my weakness I am made complete in Christ because what I am unable to do on my own He does now through me. This means that I can no longer have any excuse not be do what I am called to do regardless of my short comings. So that if I am called to teach, even though I think I cannot, I must because it is Christ working in me through my weakness. Or if it is to encourage, then I encourage, if it is to bless, then bless.
I no longer can see, I can’t, because I know He can. No matter what I think MY limitations are, God can work beyond those limitations to bring glory to His kingdom and His son, Jesus Christ. In my case, I hate speaking in front of people and I am scared to death of it, but hey look, I am a pastor and God blesses that which He has called me to, because it is His strength that shines forth and not my own.
To God be the Glory,
This righteousness (God’s righteousness) is given through Jesus Christ’s faith to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew or Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. - Rom 3:22-23
Paul is declaring the righteousness of God and His justice. The Law required a sacrifice for sins that were committed according to the Law. The problem was that even though the Jews sacrificed, even their offerings were tainted because of their imperfection. However, through Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice from the person who lived the perfect life come forth and God’s justice has been balanced through His own actions.
So, what does that mean for people, well that is the Good News or Gospel. It means that all can come to the gracious salvation of the Lord not matter who you are. There is now no more Jew or Gentile but all are the same in God’s eyes. And it does not matter where you come from or what you have done, Jesus wants a relationship with you.
Furthermore, it means that I do not have to wait until my life is “all together” before I come to Him. Jesus is a doctor, healing the sick and broken. He is not looking for the perfect He is looking for those who want to get well, just like He asked of the man at the pool. He wants to start a relationship with you in your brokenness, not in your perfection.
Finally, when I do come to Him, I am a work in progress. There should be a change in me; a constant change until the day He calls me home. He will continue to grow His righteousness in me if I will continue in His ways and by His direction. This is all Good News because none of it relies on my ability to do anything, but on His righteousness found in Jesus Christ.
So, whether you think you have failed too much or not tried enough or are not good enough for Him, Jesus says, I can fix that. He is looking for people like you who are wanting something more; are wanting something to rely on greater than themselves. He is looking for people just like you and I to say, “Be my Lord.” He wants people who want to change and take on the free gift of grace.
God Bless You,
This righteousness is given through the Jesus Christ’s faith, to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. – Rom 3:22-24
Paul is trying to compare and contrast Jews and Gentiles in this part of Scripture. The Jews have been arguing, unless you worship like we do you cannot be saved. Meanwhile the Gentiles argue that they are the true faith in Christ. Yet Paul says, basically what God does, that He is no respecter of persons, but those that are found under the grace of Christ’s Blood are those whom have truly received forgiveness.
The Church (Worldwide) can no longer quibble amongst themselves about who has got it all figured out. I am pretty sure that God is the only one who has that kind of knowledge. What Paul is saying is that righteousness can only be attained through the faith of Christ in which we believe. Even our own faith is too weak to get us there, but only Christ’s faith that is found at the cross is strong enough to prevail into grace.
Grace is not born of me or your but purely in Christ Jesus. So, we must be careful how we judge our brothers and sisters in Christ. For when we judge them with an unrighteous stick, then we bring condemnation upon ourselves. “You therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things.” (Rom 2:1)
Let’s sum these things up in this, love one another as Christ has loved you, so love one another. (John 13:34) Remember that none of us has been worthy of forgiveness. Each person in the Church is seeking the Lord the best way they know how. Some may not be as mature as you, mentor them forward. Some maybe ahead of you, learn from their wisdom. The key to salvation is only found in believing that Jesus died for our sins, that He was fully man and fully God and that He has arisen from the dead and sits at the right hand of the Father that I might call Him, Lord. That’s it.
So, before we judge how our brother or sister worships, let us remember that we are not perfect and don’t have it figured out yet either. Let us remember that Jesus takes on all kinds of people, low and high, for His glory. Let us remember that there is no sin too deep that cannot be taken from you in Jesus name. There is no place too low that He cannot find you, no cave too dark that He cannot bring His light. If you believe this, share it with someone today so they too can receive the light.
But because of your stubborn and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself of the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. – Rom 2:5
Paul is speaking to both Jew and Gentile who chooses to live the hypocritical life. To judge others for their sins and yet lives in the very same sin themselves. Chooses to say that sin is evil, but then goes out and supports the acceptance of sin in our society.
We cannot be of two minds, we are either for God or against Him and everything in our lives must either support God’s will and plan or none of it does. If we wish to face wrath and judgement on the final days and if we intend on spending our eternity in hell, then yes, we can continue our ways.
However, the Gospel account is the antecedent of this very verse, if we would just repent and become humble, turning from our sin and asking forgiveness God would relent His wrath from upon us. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron 7:14)
Its never too late to turn your hearts from the wickedness of the flesh. Repentance is a daily activity; I must repent from my flesh and choose to serve the Lord today. I must continue to pray for humility and seek out the Lord’s face and not my own desires. He will bless all who do because, “God does not show favoritism.” (Acts 2:11)
Start today, pick anything in your life that is not of the Lord and repent of it; get rid of the wickedness one step at a time. Choose to love the Lord more than yourself today and see the blessing that He will heap upon you with His love and joy.
God Bless You All,
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew then to the Gentile. – Rom 1:16
Paul, in his letter to Rome, is encouraging the faith of those in Rome and for their spreading of the Gospel. He is eager to be with them and to not only encourage but to embolden their Truth and faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He knows the power that it possesses and knows the struggle they have in Rome for many are denying the Gospel and persecuting them there.
I don’t know if in US history we are at greater odds against God than ever before. Church attendance is in steep decline, more and more families are abandoning traditional faith platforms and are serving themselves. We as Americans are forsaking the wisdom of Scriptures. We are seeing the lines blurred and even our allies transitioning into blasphemy, calling the Scriptures of God errant in their thoughts and dated in their ways.
I only know one solution to this problem, boldness. I must become bold in the Gospel again. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel,” is what Paul says. I agree, I am not going to be ashamed of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am going to stand in bold humility and proclaim that which brings eternal life to all who believe.
Why? Because I have that eternal life and I cannot help but proclaim that which is true and holy and brings joy and peace to me and my family. Christ and Him crucified, buried and resurrected is the hope on which I stand; the truth that brings eternal salvation into reality. God has been so great, kind and merciful to me, even in my sin that I cannot help but to glorify Him and all that He is.
Today is the day we will be bold. We are going to go out today and find someone who needs the Gospel and share with them the message of our father in heaven. We are going to share with them, in bold humility, the joy that we have and how that is changing our lives each and every day for the better. We are not going to be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To God be the Glory,
David said to the Philistine, “you come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies in Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I ‘ll strike you down and cut off your head.” 1 Sam 17:45-46a
As David cries out his challenge to the Philistine, he gives credit to the Lord for the victorious battle about to happen. He is confident that the Lord will deliver him from the hands of the Philistine. He knows that it is God who can do all things for His people and that David has little to do with it, except be His instrument of His purpose.
When I am out and about each day, do I allow God to win my victories or am I trying to accomplish these things on my own. It doesn’t matter what it is in life, whether trouble with a co-worker, trouble with your boss, trouble with your spouse or just trouble in general do we call upon God to fight our battles? I know I have to, because of my hot-headed nature and my keen ability to see only myself and what benefits me in my flesh.
It is only God that can overcome the flesh inside of me so that I may be ready to do His will in my life. So that person that cuts me off in line or that person that simply has it in for me does not become my enemy but a challenge for the Lord. God will fight these battles and win the victory for souls in this world and not for the pride of men.
The battle with-in are the same. When the flesh gets to talkin, I know that I am not allowing the Spirit to fight my battles. I am trying to do these things on my own. However, when I remember my past victories, where the Spirit has removed temptation, I gain confidence and know that the Lord can defeat sin in me and that I can serve Him as His instrument in my own life. I must gain control over all aspects of my life, which means I must allow God, through the Spirit, to fight these battles both inside and out.
Today, let’s let the Spirit take control over our thoughts, our emotions, and our bodies. Let’s let Him do the fighting while I just sit back and see the victories come in. Let’s be like David in the battle with Goliath and proclaim the victory over the flesh to the Glory of the Lord.
God is my Victor,
Now the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. - 1 Sam 16:14
Saul had abandoned God and His will. He had failed to do all that God had asked of him. So God rejected Saul. This means that all of the benefits of being with God have been revoked for King Saul; God’s peace, hand of protection and contentment left Saul. Saul really didn’t know what he had until it was gone.
The same dangers apply to me and my relationship with God. If want to continue in the blessings of God then I must remain in Him and in obedience to Him. When I reject His instruction in life, then I open myself up to the realm of what is evil. Now, this is not an oops I messed up and repent type of thing, I am talking about willful and open defiance to God.
God’s patience is infinite; however, it is not God that is the problem, it is me. God cannot remain where I don’t want Him to be. He will not force Himself upon me and will not force me to follow His ways. This being said, I can only experience the goodness of the Lord when I am with Him and walking His path.
If not, then the Spirit can depart from me and I will be given into the realm of evil. This does not happen by accident but can happen if I choose to continue to be willfully disobedient and live in sin. When I am living in that sin, then the peace, comfort and protection the Lord will be withdrawn.
For those not found in Jesus, you are already there. You are at the mercies of the evil in this world, both the physical and spiritual. Evil spirits are not allowed to torment believers because the Spirit is within us and He has the power to reject such things. But if you are not found in Christ then you have no such protection. This is why we see so much suffering in the world, too many have not come into the blessed peace of Christ.
So, today I beg that the Lord keep me on straight and narrow paths. That He continue to bless my life with His Spirit. I am always openly inviting Him in not just in word but in deeds. And the Spirit then guides my paths and keeps me eternally secure in Him, thanks be to God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Make your vow each day to remain in Him and if you aren’t found in Jesus today, then find Him any way you can and see what peace can truly be.
Thanks be to God,
People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.
– 1 Sam 16:7b
So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” – 1 Sam 16:11a
Saul was out and God had a new king in mind for Israel, one after His own heart. Samuel was commanded to go to Jesse and inquire of his sons. Once all of the seven elder boys had been passed by God chose the youngest and smallest of them to fulfill His will with Israel.
The smallest, this is a recurring theme throughout Scripture. If we look at Israel, they were the smallest of nations chosen to be His. If we look at Jesus, He worked with 12 disciples at first, a small number of men who would do His will. And as we see here with David, God chooses the smallest form among Jesse’s children.
God can do amazing things with the smallest and least people. God wants us to know that it is God that does the work and not man. When I can recognize that in myself, then I can understand that my stature as a person or position in the community has little to do with how much God can do. My popularity at school, nor my popularity at work has nothing to do with how God chooses to move.
It falls to God and His will and plan in life, not mine. The more humble and lower in stature the person, the more God can do because He doesn’t have to contend with all the other stuff. God doesn’t have to contend with money in their life, He doesn’t have to contend with responsibilities of being popular, He doesn’t have to contend with the baggage that tends to come with these either.
No, He works with the least of these because they are humble and ready to do His work. They are usually broken and laid out and empty so He can fill them up. There is no coincidence that David was a Shepherd, the lowest of positions in Jewish society. And yet even our Savior comes to shepherd the people and that is what David was about to do for God.
So, do not be ashamed or dismiss your low position in life. No, embrace it as a position that God can work with and through. And if you are of high position, then do not let your pride, stuff, and money get in the way of letting God do good works through you; remain humble in heart. Remain humble in stature and faith, “Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to.” (Rom 12:3) Instead let God work through you and me in our humility that we might become amazing workers for God.
In God we Rise,