Make Wise Decisions…Consult the Word of God – Romans Chapter 1

1 Corinthians 1:4,5

4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Romans Chapter 1

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,[e] as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”[f]

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

32 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.

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Making Room to be Filled

#355  Making Room to be Filled

It is impossible to be filled if we are not emptied.

So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.   And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the spirit…”  Eph 5:17-18

If we get drunk on literal wine or on the symbolic wine of the beliefs of this world and our own thinking, the result will be dissipation, i.e. great waste.

We cannot have our minds and lives be altered and controlled by old thinking and be filled with the spirit.

He motivates us to let go of the OLD, to be emptied so that we can be filled.

“Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its practices, and have put one the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him…”  Colossians 3:9-10

It is impossible to be renewed in our new way of being in Christ if we do not lay aside or empty ourselves of the old thinking and ways.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10, 9   This verse foretells the surrender created for all our human family after the “desolations in the earth,” of the Time of Trouble and the Permission of Evil.  This space is created by failed expectations.  It opens their hearts to the Mighty God who loves them.  In principle it can apply to our lives also.

When are minds are quieted from the clutter of our preconceived perceptions through instruction, leading and sometimes the ‘desolations’ of failed expectations, we have to space to HEAR Him, and to KNOW that He is God, Almighty in power, and willing to use that power to bless us with peace.

This space that gives Him room to work and live through us is His work and our choice to surrender to that work.

We can choose to be cluttered with our own worries and perceptions, or we can choose to surrender them.

Be in awe of the space He creates—that Holy space which leads us to let go of our old perceptions—that Holy space that gives Him room to fill us with all the fullness of God, open to receive His Holy Possibilities.

Ephesians 3:16-21

The Power to Love When We Cannot Romans 5:5

#354  The Power to Love When We Cannot  Romans 5:5

There are people in my life that I find difficult to love.  It is easier to be irritated by them than to love them.  At such times I am haunted by the clarity of 1 Corinthians 13.  “Love is patient….not easily provoked.”  (verse 4, 5)

There are needs of some people that I am guided to respond to and I hold back, possessive of my time and energy, wanting to have more time to study the Word or catch up on cleaning the house.  At such times I am haunted by another verse in 1 Corinthians 13:  “love is…kind,…it does not seek its own…endures all things.”  (verse 4, 5)

I was very moved by the experience of Corrie Ten Boom.  A German Guard who was responsible for so much of her sister’s suffering in the concentration camp had become a Christian, had grappled with his brutality in the past and asked forgiveness of God.  He approached Corrie Ten Boom and asked for forgiveness.  But she felt bitterness in her heart. 

It was when she claimed Romans 5:5, that the love of God was shed abroad in her heart through the Holy spirit, when she claimed the love of God and the love of Christ to love this man through her that she was able to express true forgiveness.

 So I have been claiming Romans 5:5.  Not just for the power to forgive, but for the power to love.

“…we can be full of joy here and now even in our trials and troubles.  Taken in the right spirit these very things will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will ever disappoint us.  Already we have some experience of the love of God flooding through our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.  And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men.”  Romans 5:3-7 Phillips

The Father and the Son loved me, at such great cost, when I was powerless to help myself.

The Father and the Son so loved our whole human family.  John 3:16

 Dear LORD, empower me to Love this person through Your love and through the Love of Jesus. 

I picture the lengths and breadths of that love as I picture Jesus on cross.  I picture the compassion of that love as I see him heal and preach, being present with people in their need.  I picture the honesty and accountability of that love as he spoke hard truths to the religious leaders.  He longed for each person’s highest good and blessing and he was willing to be part of that blessing at whatever the cost.

How powerful is this love that is poured out in our hearts through the Holy spirit, this love that loved us when we are powerless to help ourselves, this love that loves for the pure delight of blessing. 

This love that is poured out in our hearts through the Holy spirit creates the willingness to be honest and forthright, creates the willingness to be present with people in their need, and creates the willingness to be part of the highest good and blessing at whatever the cost, all for the pure joy of blessing others.

 “I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the Spirit’s inner reinforcement—that Christ may actually live in your hearts by our faith…

…so that having your roots deep and your foundations strong in love, you may become mighty to grasp the idea, as it is grasped by all saints, of the breadth and length, the height and depth—yes, to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him, who, in the exercise of His power that is at work within us, is able to do infinitely beyond all our highest prayers or thoughts—to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, world without end!  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:17-21  Phillips/Weymouth

The Power to Love When We Cannot Romans 5:5 Part 2

#355  The Power to Love When We Cannot  Romans 5:5  Part 2

When we pray for the power of the Holy spirit to love others with the love of God and Christ through us He creates the space to see the person we struggle to love in a new way.

When we read Romans 5:3-7 we see the power of this love that is poured out in our hearts through the Holy spirit, this love that loved us when we are powerless to help ourselves, this love that loves for the pure delight of blessing.

We picture the lengths and breadths of that love as we picture Jesus on cross.  We see the compassion of that love as we see him heal and preach, being present with people in their need.  We see the honesty and accountability of that love as he spoke hard truths to the religious leaders.  He longed for each person’s highest good and blessing and he was willing to be part of that blessing at whatever the cost.

This love that is poured out in our hearts through the Holy spirit creates the willingness to be honest and speak even hard truth in love, creates the willingness to be present with people in their need, and creates the willingness to be part of their highest good and blessing at whatever the cost, all for the pure joy of blessing others.

“For the love of Christ controls us…”

We are willing to let the love of Christ live and love through us.  We grow to see that person through the eternal eyes, the far reaching perspective of God and Christ.

“having concluded this, that one died for all, then were all dead…” [in need of deliverance] NASB/KJV

We grow to see the preciousness of their life to Jesus, the one who died for them and for each of us as part of the family of Adam.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view…” NIV

We grow to see their struggles in the context of their strengths and in the context of the wounded heart that needs to be healed.

We are willing to let go of old habitual thought that dwells on past irritations and pain.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation:  the old has gone, the new has come.”

We grow to experience a new way of being, HIS way of being: the pure joy of giving and loving that Jesus experienced when he preached and healed.

2 Corinthians 5:16-17