Preaching Christ Crucified

Paul saw through the phony excuses of those who refused to believe and stuck to preaching Christ crucified.  Can we do better than that?

Today’s reading:

Romans 15:14-1 Corinthians 2:5

My selection:

For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom,  but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,  but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  1 Corinthians 1:22-24

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Overwhelmed by God

Have you been overwhelmed by God?

Can you imagine how the Apostle Paul felt as he wrote his letter to the Roman church and pondered the grandeur of the eternal Deity?  Of course, his epistle was more than a mere letter between friends.  The Apostle was given the task of transmitting God’s word.  Even so, as he wrote, he experienced what other true believers also sense as we reflect on the glory of the Holy One.  He was overwhelmed by God. Human pen or tongue cannot adequately describe His majesty, but as we pray and worship Him we are compelled to try.

Today’s reading:

Romans 11:11-15:13

My selection:

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.

Romans 11:33-36

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

The Freedom of Glory

Romans 8 has been called the greatest chapter in the Bible.  Paul describes the freedom we have through the glory God given us in Christ.  Take time to ponder it now.

Today’s reading:

Romans 8:18-11:10

My selection:

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  Romans 8:20-21

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Worse before Better

Pain shows evidence of healing

Sometimes it has to get worse, before it gets better.  A friend of mine learned this as she was healing from an injury that tore ligaments in her ankle.  The pain was evidence that healing was taking place. Paul knew the spiritual pain of dealing with sin erupting from his flesh.  The battle was fierce and only Christ could deliver him.

Perhaps you have discovered the same thing.  You come to know Christ in truth.  You know He has saved you, but the battle with sin becomes even more intense.  But don’t stop in Romans 7.  In chapter 8, we learn there is hope for progress as you rest in the promise of “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ Jesus.  There is assurance of the Spirit’s presence and guidance for God’s children who call Him “Father.”  It has to get worse before it gets better. Christ will deliver us and bring us home where it will be (not just better but) perfect.  Forever.

Today’s reading:

Romans 5:1-8:17

My selection:

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Romans 7:24-8:1

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

 

Dangerous Presumption

It’s easy to be humble and repentant when we face trials, but how do we respond when it seems like everything we touch turns to gold?  There may be more danger in prosperity than in adversity.  Today’s reading explains why presumption is dangerous.

Today’s reading:

Romans 2:1-4:25

My selection:

 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?  But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Romans 2:3-5

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

 

Battle for Morality

Reformed and evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is the only infallible rule of faith and practice.  But in our pluralistic society not everyone is reformed or evangelical.  So, many (probably most) do not hold to this belief. Moral codes and laws depend on broad acceptance and support.

Should Christians vote for and work for laws which reflect biblical views?  If they believe that all mankind is answerable to one God who has revealed His law in Scripture, then the answer is “yes.”   Bible believers will be told they are trying to impose their views on others, to make their standards normative for all.  But if the Bible is true, it is God who has imposed His standards on us all and we ignore them to our own peril.  As laws are made in our congress or state houses, someone’s view is imposed, a biblical view or a secular one.  I think a biblical view is better than a secular one, even for those who otherwise have little or no regard for the Bible.  If you disagree, don’t worry.  I have only one vote.  If it fails, I will suffer the consequences that come.  Change my belief, I cannot.

Today’s reading:

Acts 27:27-Romans 1:32

My selection:

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:32

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

 

Life’s Too Short

In a Houston, Texas eatery a sign reads: “Life’s too short to live in Dallas.”  I am told that Dallas people say the same thing about Houston.  Either way, life is short.  But it is not so much where you live as what you do.  Paul knew what he was to do. His life purpose was given to him by the Lord Jesus Christ and he stuck to it for the rest of his life. Whether you live in Dallas or Houston or somewhere else, life’s too short to be unfocused on God’s message and mission for your life.

Today’s reading:

Acts 25:1-27:26

My selection:

But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,  delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you  to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’  Acts 26:16-18

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

The Cost of Integrity

Those who stand for truth will find their integrity tested.  The Apostle Paul stood the test at great cost. Will you?

Today’s reading:

Acts 21:37-24:27

My selection:

Those who stood by said, “Would you revile God’s high priest?”  And Paul said, “I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’” Acts 23:4-5

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Discipleship:Purpose and Commitment

Today’s reading:

Acts 20:1-21:36

My selection:

 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.  Acts 20:24

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Idolatry Unmasked

By worshiping mere inanimate objects, idolaters dishonor God and man, who is made in God’s image.  Idolatry needs to be unmasked for the evil it truly is.

Today’s reading:

Acts 17:10-19:41

My selection:

 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man.  The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,  because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”  Acts 17:29-31

For more reflections on this passage, see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.