wow! talk about jumping in the deep end of the pool! Romans starts out with a knock out punch, doesn't it?i LOVE Paul! he is like the friend that doesn't beat around the bush...just tells it like it is!what a way to start my day!
Proverbs 16:9 is prayed by us every day! A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Are you, Jill, proof of this or what! You say let's read the Bible together. Then, I see it's 1 Samuel...different for a beginning...but is was wonderful! Then a sharp turn.....screeeeeeeccccccchhhhhhhhh......to Romans 1. I was thinking...whaaaattttt???? Who has done this?And, there it is verse 3 says, ...concerning His Son Jesus Christ our LORD, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh...Well, there's our link...David before King...and David after the Resurrection...and even today. Jesus is the seed of David according to the flesh...And, for me and we Women Who Pray, who pray Isaiah 55 every day, it says in verse 3b-4...And I will make an everlasting covenant with you-- the sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness tothe people, a leader and commander for the people.Is this not amazing?This Chapter has some of my favorite verses, like 16 and 17. It also very bluntly lists some sins in the list that have become acceptable...that are tolerated.I mean, the old joke about the pastor when the old lady with snuff in her mouth says, as he talks about tobacco..."..he's stopped preaching and is now goin' to meddlin'!" LOL!!It's so true that if we allow ourselves to hear and see and feel things that we know are not good...not Godly...then, our wonderful pliable hearts begin to harden.Not only are many in the Church, today, participating in sin that is found in verses 29-31...but that last verse (32) is a jugular grabber....who, knowing the righteous judgment of God , that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.Even if we don't do them...if we observe them...if we approve them who practice these sins.Let's see to not stand against abortion because we have friends who have had them. We are to love them...and help them through their painful lives...just like we do those who've been unfaithful in a marriage...or one who killed someone.We are not to condone the sin. We love the sinner like the LORD..not the sin. Do our votes count? Yes! If we vote with those who condone and even promote sine, will we stand before the LORD...yes and with the books out with all of our life.Jesus took all sin...that is true...but Paul warns us not to use our freedom as license to sin...and here in this last verse of Romans 1, we are reminded that we must actually not approve by voiting against or lobbying, or making use of whatever freedom we have...I've boycotted plenty...will be boycotting Penny's.If I don't know, then, when I find out, I confess sin and turn. That's repentance.When I know, even if I try to pretend I don't...so as not to be judgmental I'm thinking...the LORD will have me confronted to the point of embarassment...to hear me STAND for HIM!!! We are not to judge the sinner! We are to judge the sin!! Not the same at all. I'm going to love you irregardless...but I'm lying if I say it doesn't matter. Paul lumped gossip, and envy, and unforgiveness, and lack of compassion with some hideous and filthy things...but that's because next to righteousness all sin is black.Oops there goes that preacher in me again....Romans should be a real adventure! I can't wait until chapter 8...one of my favorites!!!! :) Gloooorrrryyyy!!!!!
It's hard to discuss Romans, isn't it girls. All fingers pointing back at us. If you were raised in Church like me..then, you understand this teaching just a little...if you've seen you have to move over and let the othes in. I was raised in a Walton-type family...home until I married...still married after 42 years. When I was in my late 20's, the LORD called me a Pharisee. "A Pharisee, LORD? How?" I was in the WORD and after His heart, when I heard the words. "But, you call them vipers! and whited sepluchres ...and not going in but not wanting others to go in either." It was a gentle rebuke...I checked my salvation...dusted myself off..and set out to understand. You know the parable with 2 sons? One says, "Yes!" about everything his father asks, but doesn't do it. The 2nd says, "No, and argues...and is uncooperative..but does the will of the Father. Then the LORD asks, which one pleased the LORD? The one who did the will of the Father. So, what's the circumcision, if you don't believe the Word and live by it?..the just living by faith. And, the uncircumcised, doing the work of the Father? This is where He clenches it when He says it's the circumcised in the heart...regardless whether Jew or Gentile. I had not been here long, so almost 30 years ago..I listened to an interview with Mother Theresa. Plenty that I knew believe her not to be saved because of her religious beliefs. I asked the LORD, "If she's not saved, will you send someone like you did Peter to the Centurian...I mean, LORD, she's doing the will...the work...of the Father. She's lain her life down for her friends..." A very hard act to follow...I know I'll see her in Heaven! What a place Heaven must be! No wonder it's hard for anyone to see and come back...:)
Father, I thank You, that You planned it so that we don't have to worry about those who have not heard...that all will hear and as Romans clearly tells us that those who do the will of the Father, though they've not heard...are taken care of. All the reasons people have given for not wanting or needing a God that would send anyone to hell. Our God's will is that none perish but all come to repentance. I mean if Phillip can just show up for the Ethiopian as he's reading the scripture in Isaiah, I believe, and then answer the question, "What stops me from being baptized?" "Nothing!" and baptizes him. Jew? Gentile? Circumcized? I think not! Room for one more...and Jesus says, "Of course." Then, we look at the Pharisees approaching John the Baptist to be baptized..and John says, "What are you here for? Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come, you generation of vipers? Go bring back fruits meet for repentance. Yes, I know you say that you are Abraham's children, but John said God is able to raise up children of Abraham from these stones." I remember not getting Israel as a child. Just seemed like people who couldn't get it right. They sinned over and over. I can remember people talking badly about Jews when I was a child. I mean, Christians.Then, in my studying the Word, the part where Paul says, "Don't be so sure of yourselves...so haughty...to think that if God did not spare the original fig tree. Then, you (us), the grafted in fig tree...the church..if you do not obey me...I'll graft you back out..and the original tree in.I realize that my position is in Israel...I am a child of Abraham through Jesus...and all the promises of Abraham are mine...only there is an "if" in the promise. Deuteronomy clearly says if I obey the Word...Blessed am I going in and going out...and I'm the head and not the tail...and on and on making me smile. However, just like Israel, if I do not hearken to the Word of the LORD..that means heed...obey...do the will of God...not just hear and know...but DO..then I'm under the curse and all that goes with it. A sobering thought...we who are in the light...must shine the light..which is the Word...the light unto my path..the lamp unto my feet. He's commanding us to get our big britches on and stand up Bride...you are not a baby waiting on me...You are the Church Triumphant..and the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church!!! Woo Hoo!!!!! clapping...stomping...shouting...singing...that's what brought down the walls of Jericho!!! Much Noise!!!!
Your comments are welcome!