Romans 15:22-33 Changing Plans

God often uses the LONG way around

First of all let me apologize for missing posting these last two days. I have been up to my ears in projects and care. But we are back together tonight.

Paul shares his desire to visit his readers. He had been wanting to see them for years but never got the go ahead to do so. He is excited to announce that he is finally going to be coming to visit.

I’ve heard it said, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” This is certainly the case with Paul and his desire to visit Rome. He makes it there eventually but NOT like he had planned it out. I can sure identify with his situation. Read more »

Romans 15:14-21 Strong Reminders

Bold words spoken in love

Paul is wrapping up his letter to the church in Rome. He makes certain that they know he thinks highly of their faith and foundational knowledge base. But he also wants them to know that he has written this letter as a strong reminder for some of the teachings they need to revisit. He does this through the authority he received from Jesus.

Paul has made some strong points in his letter. One of the major themes is that we are saved by grace and not by works. He ensures that his reader doesn’t discount God’s law though and declare it wasted. No, it doesn’t result in salvation but God had good reason for giving it and through it Jesus was able to reconcile the world. Paul also makes sure that his readers know that the concepts of the law still apply to our behavior. The law is embodied in the two greatest commandments that Jesus spoke of. Read more »

Romans 15:8-13 Hope For All

I will sing Your praise!

Paul ensures his readers today that ALL people, including the Gentiles, have always been a part of God’s plan. He uses the Old Testament writings in doing so.

The salvation of the Gentiles was not an afterthought. Nor was it simply a result of Israel’s rejection of Jesus. It was in God’s plan all along. The fact that the prophets of old included direct mention of hope for the Gentiles is proof positive of this.

The first promise in the Garden of Eden was given to woman’s seed, not specifying any nationality or division. When speaking to the serpent (Satan) regarding the woman’s seed God says, “He will crush your head, and you will bruise His heal” (Gen. 13:15).  Paul quotes Isaiah’s prophecy here. “And again Isaiah says, ‘The rood of Jesse will come, even He who arises to rule the Gentiles; in Him will the Gentiles hope’” (verse 12). So from Garden to Garden Gentiles were included. From the Garden of Eden to the Garden where He rose, God had ALL of us in His plan. Read more »

Romans 15:1-7 Obligation of Care

An Honor to love. Steve and Annette Vincent

I’m in a strange place tonight because of so much going on in my life. I feel God is speaking directly to me in the first two verses in our reading. I know Paul’s instructions are for the Jews and Gentiles as well as the “stronger” and “weaker” brothers and sisters, but my heart needs to cry out tonight in a different direction instead.

I don’t know if I have actually come out and said that I care for my husband who is disabled. If not, tonight is the night to share it then. Ten years prior to our meeting he had gone through brain surgery to remove a tumor. He had obvious physical issues relating to it but that did not prevent us from falling in love and marrying. As time has progressed so have his physical and cognitive issues. Because of the radiation he underwent to kill the tumor, his cognitive functioning has suffered significantly and continues to decline. That is the issue that I am struggling with right now. Read more »

Romans 14:13-23 No Stumbling Blocks!

Don’t become the stumbling block for your brother/sister

Paul continues to address how we each honor God but he goes deeper into how we honor one another too while doing so. He addresses how we show our love to our brothers and sisters by being sensitive to their level of faith.

Last time Paul instructed us to welcome the “weaker” brother/sister without criticizing him/her. Today he tells us to even refrain from exercising our freedoms in front of those who, by viewing our conduct and possibly participating themselves, might stumble in their relationship with God. This demonstrates our love for our weaker brother/sister.

We are to consider what is more important to us; our brother’s faith or our own freedoms. Paul is not telling us to forego our freedoms permanently but simply to hold off engaging in them in the presence of those who don’t yet have the faith to grasp those same freedoms. Read more »