Measuring up…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 12:9-21

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

If we want to judge, let us judge ourselves.  We can look to this short passage quoting the words of Christ and use the measure given here to look to our own acts, thoughts, and words.  How do we measure up?  When we follow these guidelines in our own lives, others have no difficulty seeing Christ and seeing love in action.

Gifts and graces…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 12:1-8

 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,

so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching;

the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Are we any better than anyone else because we possess something they don’t?  The truth presented here is no, we are not.  Are we different from one another?  Do we possess different gifts?  Are some believers and some  not?  Yes.  Those differences are not comparative.  They do not elevate one above another.  They simply are.  And in that mix it is possible to do great things for the kingdom of God.  In that mix it is possible to encourage, develop, and bless one another.  In that place, God is pleased. So whatever  gift we possess let us use that gift for the glory of God and not ourselves. Let us also be mindful that what we have, any ability or gifts were received from God.  Keeping that perspective, we then become valuable to each other and to the Lord.  Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mercy…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 11:25-36

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;

“and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,

so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.

For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

“Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?”

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Simply, who can place themselves above God?  No one.  So who can judge what God does?  No one.  God gives mercy to all and to those he wishes to give mercy to.  We are not in a place to question what he does  or does not do!  Are we above God that we would question him?  Yet how grateful we can be that the same mercy he shows  others can also be ours.  Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grafted in…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 11:11-24

  So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.

Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!

Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry

in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.

For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead?

If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,

do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.

Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”

That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.

For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.

And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

What a gift! We are all his creation.  To some of us the way back to a relationship with him has been taught; to some of us, not so.  Yet to all who operate in a faith that rises from believing, the same gift of life is given.  No special treatment; nothing to become arrogant about, only gratitude to know all of humanity has the same opportunity to life abundant living in him.  Our faith grants us the renewed relationship with God, it is only for our benefit;  it is not to elevate us above others.  We grow and learn at different paces and levels but that does not put us on an elevator that places us above anyone else.  Grafted into the family of God from a wild nature to one cultivated and fed by his love.  Those cut out can return.  All it takes is the faith to believe.  Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Chosen

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Romans 11:1-10

 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin.

God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel?

“Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.”

But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace.

But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened,

as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”

And David says, “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them;

let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and bend their backs forever.”

We are chosen.  May our eyes always be seeing and our ears hearing.  We have much to be thankful for as the chosen of God.  As believers in Christ, we enter into a relationship with our Creator others cannot understand for “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”  Fellow believers, we have much to be thankful for as members of a remnant, chosen by grace.  Blessed be the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Info post

To those who follow this blog I am temporarily unable to access Internet service and so the entries will be sparse.  We are in the process of a move to an area that does not carry service from our service provider.  Just to let you know I am not away permanently, Lord willing.  Love you all and miss the back and forth sharing.  It has been uplifting for me and it is my prayer that these posts have done the same for you.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Continue in your walk with Him and He will direct your paths, may he shower blessings upon you all.