Category Archives: Romans

Saturday’s Tomb

1 Corinthians 15:50–54“I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

From Genesis to Revelation, we are warned that “it is later than you think.” Paul writes to Christians in Romans 13:11–12: “The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

There are millions of people around the world who do not have peace at this moment because they have never found the secret of peace. Some of them may have riches today as a result of greed and covetousness; but their souls are lean, their hearts are cold toward God, their consciences are dulled, and their minds are blinded.

They need to know that there is a God of marvelous love who sent His Son Jesus Christ to this world. And as a demonstration of His mercy, Christ—who is the Prince of Peace—went to the cross to make a way for peace between God and mankind.

Are you living in the reality of Jesus’ victory over death? In what tangible ways can you share that victory with others so that they, too, can have life?

SaturdayStone-over-Jesus-tomb

From my Easter reading: Prepare for Easter: Daily Devotions from Billy Graham

Fences

Walking back and forth through an Army installation I passed a correctional facility noticing the prisoners in the fences. It caused me to wonder for a minute what they might have done to bring them there. Continuing my walked I passed a motor pool and thought about the striking parallel of choices that puts us behind fences.

The prisoners were there because of the choices they made in the legal world. The motor pool operators were there because of the choice they made to operate or maintain military vehicles, but then I realized the Army installation I was in was also fenced. A choice I made in my professional world.

Romans 14:7 “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”

trespassingThese fences made me ask, “What fences do we have in our personal world that keep us in or others out?” How are our personal interactions with each other? Some fences are used to keep people in and some to keep people out.

 

God offers us opportunities to reach out to others as well as break down fences that we have built through negative attitudes and choices.

Facing Adversity

Romans 5:2-5 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Paul tells us that hardship will come our way. Passages like this gives us hope because we are drill-instructortaught that when hardship or adversity comes, God is still with us. If bad things happen to a person, it is because we lack faith. In cases of adversity, each person needs to go into his heart and pray to discover how God is communicating. It may be that the trouble is a specific call from God. It may not. I don’t think passages like these can be universalized.

How is God may be speaking to you? Have you become more reliant on Him? We all have a way to go so how are you focusing your prayer time?

Love

“‘I will tend My flock and let them lie down.’ [This is] the declaration of the Lord GOD. ‘I will seek the lost, bring back the strays, bandage the injured, and strengthen the weak, but I will destroy the fat and the strong. I will shepherd them with justice'” Ezekiel 34:15-16.

“For the Lord will not reject [us] forever. Even if He causes suffering, He will show compassion according to His abundant, faithful love. For He does not enjoy bringing affliction or suffering on mankind” Lamentations 3:31-33.

“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. candles 4

He couldn’t do anything for himself. Born with cerebral palsy, he sat in the wheel chair loving every second of the Christmas musical. He faces challenges that I can’t even imagine. His body wrecked by a disease that causes him to be in constant motion. He sat in the back of the auditorium, perhaps wanting not to distract. And sitting next to him was a proud mother, I couldn’t help stealing a glance throughout that evening, to see hear stroking his hair, wiping his mouth, and smiling all the while. She adored him. I thought to myself, That’s it. That’s love.

I had to meet this amazing mother. She was a single mom who had just moved to Tennessee from Kansas. “How do you do this all by yourself?” I had to ask. “He’s my life. He’s the greatest blessing that ever happened to me.”

This two-person family had an eternal impact on me. I received a glimpse of the love God has for me. Despite my constant battles with the curse of sin and personal rebellion, God loves me like that. Amazingly, you are God’s treasure and if you follow Him, He will be yours.

“Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10. “But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!Romans 5:8. No doubt you’ve already heard the familiar words of “O Holy Night” this year. Don’t miss the truth of the final verse: Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace.

If you want to know how to love one another, look at the love that sent Jesus to earth to live a life of love and pay the price for all of our sins. It’s all about love. This isn’t a love of fancy words and impossible tasks. This is a love that says, “I am willing to love you no matter what.”

We can love because He first loved us.

 

*** Matt Tullos is pastor of Bluegrass Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Hurry Up, God

 Psalm 70:1-5 “Make haste, O God, to deliver me! Make haste to help me, O Lord! Let them be ashamed and confounded Who seek my life; Let them be turned back[a] and confused Who desire my hurt. Let them be turned back because of their shame, Who say, “Aha, aha!”  Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!”
Has God ever been slow in your life? He was in David’s. This undoubtedly was one of the psalms written when David was being harassed by King Saul. So he cries out, “Lord, why don’t You do something? You’re being awfully slow.”
Have you ever pondered the delays of God? He is never in a hurry, but once He starts to work, watch out! He patiently accomplishes His work. David pleads, “Make haste, make haste” (v. 1). He repeats his plea in verse 5: “I am poor and needy; make haste to me, O God!You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay.” If right now it seems as though God is tarrying instead of working, if it seems as though He is delaying instead of acting, what should you do? Seek Him and wait on Him and love Him. Verse 4 says it beautifully: “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; and let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified!”‘ We’ve seen that phrase before. David, when he was sinking, said, “I . . . will magnify Him with thanksgiving” (Ps. 69:30).

Here’s a good lesson for us. When God is not moving as rapidly as we think He should, when our timetables do not coincide, what should we do? Rejoice in Him, love Him and magnify Him. Let Him worry about the timetable. God is always working, and we know that all things are working together for good (Rom. 8:28). But He waits for the right time to reveal His victories. Let Him watch the clock.
God’s delays are a part of your character-building process. The next time God gives you a delay, encourage yourself by remembering that He never stops working for you, and He knows when and how to help you. Submit to His timetable and His care.

God’s Everlasting Love

Romans 8:37-39“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Encouraging Leader

God has chosen you to lead the way as an Encouraging Leader.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Amazing Grace

When John Newton wrote “Amazing Grace” he had been through so much he truly understood what God’s grace was about. One verse sticks out: “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; ‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.”

Our duties bring about times of uncertainty, today might be one of those days, but even though dangers, toils and snare exist we can rest in God’s grace that to will keep us safe and lead us home.

Romans 12:3 “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.” reminds us that that we need to depend on Him and not our own training, skill or qualifications.

Though training, skill and qualifications should be taken seriously God’s grace gives us the strength and courage to face the dangers, toils and snares ahead of us.
Remember what God told Joshua (1:9) “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Lastly, II Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”