Romans 1:1-6 NIV
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
For the Gospel of God
All of us who are called of God to be his saints, who have trusted in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, are ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all to “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). We are his witnesses to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). We are the light of the world and the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13-16). And, we are his body, carrying on Jesus’ ministry he began when he walked the face of this earth (Jn. 14:12).
Because Jesus Christ, God the Son, died on a cross for our sins, and was resurrected from the dead to give us new life in him, we who believe in him are forgiven our sins, delivered from our slavery to sin, and are given new lives in Christ Jesus to be lived to Christ and to his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
And, because of what Jesus Christ did for us in turning us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that we could receive forgiveness of sins and be made holy in Christ (Acts 26:18), we should want to tell others about his grace to us so that they can come to know him, too. We should want to tell them that Jesus Christ gave his life up for them so that they can be free from their bondage to sin, and so they can be empowered of God to walk with the Lord in obedience to his will for our lives, and to know his peace that surpasses all human understanding.
Romans 1:7-13 NIV
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
Encouraging One Another
It is so important that we care for and pray for one another, because we all have needs, and because, if we are following the Lord, we have Satan on our trail trying to trip us up, too. We need to be thankful for the body of Christ, his church, the family of God, and to show them our love for them and our appreciation to them that they are a part of our lives, and thank them, too, for how they minister God’s love to us on a regular basis, as well.
I know that I am daily thankful to the Lord for all the many wonderful saints of God I have met on the internet on various blog sites and Christian discussion sites, and in other locations, too. You all minister to my heart so much. I learn so much from you, and the Lord uses you to speak his words to my heart many, many times. Sometimes your words bring me to tears because they speak right to where I am, and to what I need, and other times your words bring me to laughter, which I need, too.
Your walks with the Lord bring much encouragement and strengthening to my own heart and life, and you often serve as an inspiration for me to be strong in the Lord in areas where I am lacking strength and courage to persevere. I wish you could see my face as I read your writings, and could see my smile or my tears or laughter or appreciation, or how I am often moved emotionally by what you share, because then you would realize how much you truly are a blessing to me, and how thankful I am for you.
Romans 1:14-17 NIV
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
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. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Not Ashamed of the Gospel
Why is it that so many Christians, at least here in America, shy away from sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with other people? I think the main reason is fear of rejection; fear of having people think we are religious fanatics. By nature, we want to be liked. We want people to love us, not hate us. We want to be included, not excluded. Most of us are not those who derive pleasure from harming ourselves or causing ourselves pain. And, so we tend to avoid those things which we know will cause us pain and suffering.
But, if we are to love others with Jesus’ love, and to love them unselfishly, thinking more about what they need than we do about our own selves, then we must be willing to suffer unjustly for sharing the gospel so that others may be saved. Because, truth be told, the truth of the gospel is an offense to those who are perishing, and so people won’t like us when we talk with them about sin and judgment and salvation and obedience and leaving sin behind them to follow Jesus in surrender to his will for our lives.
Sharing the gospel of our salvation, in its fullness, is not going to get us voted “most popular,” but we could end up on the “most hated” list. Jesus said that if we follow him, we will be hated as he was hated, and we will be treated as he was treated. So, we can try to save our own skin (flesh), or we can humble ourselves and be willing to be hated and rejected by others in order to save their lives, and so that they will walk in freedom from sin’s grip on their lives, in joy, in victory, and have eternal life with God. And then, together we can sing praises to our Lord for setting us free, by his grace.
How Sweet the Sound
An Original Work / April 24, 2011
How sweet the sound
of Your saints in chorus;
Oh, how we adore You,
our King. We love You so,
we want You to know.
That’s why we lift
our voice to sing.
Praise and adoration
we bring just to honor God
and our King.
We love You, Lord,
for Your great salvation;
Freely given grace from above.
Jesus, our friend,
His promise won’t end.
He gave His life out of His love.
By His blood
He purchased our fee,
When He died
on Calvary’s tree.
He set us free
so that we can worship
Him as a living sacrifice.
We come to Him
with all of our sin.
Before our God
we humbly bow.
We have been forgiven our sin,
So that we might
be cleansed within.
Tuesday, July 17, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for the body of Christ, your church, for our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and for the fellowship of the Spirit which we are able to share with them because of our faith in You.