Devotions Day 2

10 Jun

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Devotional Reading: Romans 1 

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Recommended steps to following a devotion:

1. Pray for God to open your mind and your heart to Him.

2. Read the Passage.

3. Reflect – take time to reread parts that stuck out to you. Digest them, turn them over in your head. God designed our minds. He created us to be curious and inquisitive. Question what these words mean to you. 

4. Respond – ask questions, pray, answer other’s questions, get in the conversation! Your prayer life is NOT a spectator sport. Open the lines of communication and have authentic conversations. 

Romans 1:

Parts that stuck out to me in this passage:

 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen.

 

 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

Romans was written by the Apostle Paul. They are a collection of letters to the new believers in Rome. I think it’s important to mention that Paul himself persecuted Christians and was against Jesus. When he came to know and understand who God is, and who Jesus is, he had a miraculous turn around. Here, the man who killed many early christians, ends up being used by God to share his testimony and to save millions (I say millions because people today are still coming to Christ through reading his letters and testimony). It is a lot like this saying ” God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” Paul would have been thought to be the last person qualified to share to gospel of Christ, But God used this fallen, broken man. Just as he uses all of us. God’s grace abounds. I am always amazed at how God can turn our situations, however horrible they may be, into good. I do not believe that God “lets” bad things happen to us. I believe that sin is in the world and that God gave us FREE WILL. We are not marionette dolls- puppets on a string, orchestrated to only do what our master tells us to. No, God gives us free will because it is our choice to follow Him. Just as it is our choice to follow Him, it is also our choice to follow evil. Many choose evil. God does not “make” evil, he does not lead us into temptation, or place us in evil circumstances. HOWEVER, when we call upon Him, he can turn anything that has been evil in our lives into good. He can use whatever situation we have been in, and restore us to safety. Confused? Here’s an example: I had an eating disorder in high school. I was depressed, my family was broken, plagued by divorce, strife and constant arguing. God did not invite this into my life. It was a result of choices I had made, as well as my family members. Once I realized that I didn’t need to live this way, that God had a purpose and better plan for my life…I changed. I was healed of my eating disorder, peace was restored between fractured and broken relationships, and I was able to use my pain and suffering to reach out to others. No one wants to hear a testimony about someone who has had an easy life. No one will believe that God is merciful, forgiving, and loving, unless they can see it in action…through a broken life, restored. The truth is. We live in a fallen world. We all have scars. The point isn’t to compare “battle wounds”, but it’s to recognize that God makes all things work for those who love Him. He wants to set you free from bad choices, self inflicted harm, painful pasts. The world is messy! We all walk around with baggage and we sometimes (most the time) spill our baggage onto other people and unfortunately…add to their baggage. The only one who can stop this cycle is Christ. When we make the effort to share love with others, instead of “dumping” on them.

So I know what you are thinking....So this theology sounds great, but how do I put it into practice?
  • Think of everyone you meet as someone who is dealing with their own battles…don’t judge them too harshly, but try to see their actions from their point of view…not always by how it effects you.
  • Don’t take things people say and do personally. Find your identity in who God says you are.
  • Give kindness, even when people are unkind to you. Jesus was spit on, slapped and slandered, but he kept silent. He knew who he was. He did not get defensive, for he knew who He was, and who His father is.

Ok. That turned into a rant, but I think it was an important one…See, this is what comes from reflecting on God’s word! I personally have found so much peace and my own identity in Christ. And it all came from getting to know who God is.

* A note on reading the bible: Just do it. Don’t be intimidated by the bible. It is the blueprint to life. It is beautifully complex, and yet so simple. If you are new to reading the Bible, I recommend you start with Proverbs. There are 31 Proverbs, and divinely…31 days in a month (typically). Start by reading 1 proverb a day. Focus on the parts that you read that stick out to you. If they stick out to you, it’s probably something God is trying to reveal to you.

There is no formula, no right or wrong way to read the Bible. God works through all things, He will show you His love. It’s all about your heart. When you read the Bible…what is your motivation? If it’s to draw close to GOD, then He will always draw close to you…”SEEK AND YOU SHALL FIND.”

What about you: What parts of Romans 1 sticks out to you? (there are no right or wrong answers)

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