1 Corinthians 1:4-9 In His Hands

God does not take back His gifts

Paul concludes his greeting in our reading today. He makes certain that his readers know that he loves them. He also commends them on their start with Jesus and assures them of God’s faithfulness to see them through to the end.

The first thing that we notice is that Paul bears witness to the fact that his readers are believers. They are part of the body of Christ. They have given their lives to Jesus and it is evident in their speech, knowledge and even Spiritual gifts. Read more »

1 Corinthians 1:1-3 Welcome to Corinthians

God calls Paul to reunite His people

We’ve made it to Corinthians; first Corinthians anyway. It has been more than two years on our journey so far. Kudos to us all for staying with it. I know we have been going slow and sometimes I skip a day (or two), but I believe we are right where we are supposed to be.

Paul, as usual, starts off with a wonderful introduction. Because my bible breaks it down into two sections, I’m addressing it that way too.

In our reading today Paul focuses first on who he is and by what authority he is writing. Then he specifies to whom this letter is addressed. This section ends with the thing that this group needs most desperately; “Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 3). Read more »

Romans 16:25-27 Parting Words

One last time; give God the glory He deserves

This is Paul’s final remarks to his Roman audience, before he is brought there in person. He makes sure to end with some of the same points he began with. But his closing words are a reminder of his reason for writing; “To bring about the obedience of faith- to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen” (verse 27).

Something I was thinking about as I read our passage today was Paul’s comment about the revealing of a mystery that had been kept secret through the ages. But it had also been disclosed through the writings of the prophets. God didn’t let His secret out of the bag until it was all done.

Paul referenced writings done through the prophets when telling of Jesus’ saving works. But until Jesus’ work was fully done, those connections didn’t fall into place. Jesus fulfilled ALL the prophecies but the fullness of that didn’t appear until the work was complete and He showed them the truth. They saw the connections by looking back. Read more »

Romans 16:17-23 Final Caution

Don’t follow blindly, check out God’s word for yourself

Paul continues his wrap up in our reading today. The saints with him send their greetings and he sends one last warning. Not a warning to shape up but one to be wary.

From the beginning of the sharing of the gospel to today, there have been those that have sought to gain from it. Paul warns the Roman church to be on the lookout for those who would “cause divisions and created obstacles contrary to the doctrine” (verse 17) they had received from those sharing Jesus’ words.

Boy do we have “divisions and obstacles” today! We visited some of them along the way with Paul. Works and eating and drinking were just a few he pointed out. I’m not going to go back over them, as you can look back at some of his warnings if you want to. Read more »

Romans 16:1-16 The Family Tree

I’m SO glad I’m a part of His family!

In today’s reading Paul is mentioning by name some very important people. They are not important because of some title or social standing they hold, but by how they have contributed to the family of God.

I’m not sure if these people were on their way to the group Paul was writing to, neighbors to this group, or even part of the congregation in Rome. Maybe there are some from each of these possibilities. Paul felt so moved by their contributions to the gospel though that he mentions them by name and deed.

I imagine God introducing us that way to one another. My introduction would be pretty short, especially compared to Billy Graham’s. The song Thank You for Giving to the Lord comes to mind when I think about this. Can you imagine the line of people waiting to greet Paul? It would go on forever since we are still touched by him through his writing. Read more »