Friday, December 6, 2013

Romans. .Week 1. .Discussion

Good morning!
I am hoping that you have been able to make it through the book of Romans this week. .
It takes quite a little while to get through it. .
If you have not made it all the way through. .
I IMPLORE you. .
to take some time this weekend to brainstorm some ways to fit the extra reading into your schedule for the next three weeks. .
There are TOO many GREAT things in this book to skimp out on it now!!
 I’ve got a page of things that I want to look into this month. .
And I encourage you to let me know if there is something that you just don’t understand. .
Has anyone else noticed. .that a lot of this book is review for us??
Many themes from both 1 John and Galatians are showing up in Romans. .
walking by the Spirit, loving our neighbors, differences between what worldliness looks like in contrast to what Christians are expected to demonstrate, sin and the fact that we are all totally not worthy of the gift of eternal life, faith as the ONLY key to salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Abraham and the circumcision covenant, Jews and their enthusiasm for being right with God, and their inability to do that with anything they try. .
I’m not sure what you all think. .
but I feel like Paul took many of those themes that we have already studied to some degree. .
and expounded on them in full details here. .
As I’ve poured through my notes and highlights from the week. .
I just kept coming back to chapter 2. .
And the word ATTITUDE seemed to be front and center. .
Chapter 2 was prefaced by Paul talking about foolishness and sin. .
God created EVERY person with the truth of HIM wired right into their/our hearts.
Every person. .Every where!!
He gave them the truth in their hearts. .
and a will to choose what they would believe about their creator. .
the truth. .or a lie. .
He deems that anyone that chooses their way. .
as opposed to God’s way. .has NO excuse. .
and God abandoned them (1:24).
Paul goes on to talk about all the foolish, sinful things that they (the non-Christians) turned TO as they turned away FROM God. And they turned away. .
All because of an ATTITUDE. .
But in chapter 2. .
Paul flips the conversation to those who FOLLOW God. .
and takes the opportunity to remind us. .
that we are NO better than the ones that God abandoned. .
We judge others for their wickedness. .
all the while our own hearts harbor the very same wicked ATTITUDES. .
As we continue reading. .we see that those who won’t get a control over those attitudes will only find trouble and calamity (v 9). .
And isn’t interesting. .that 2:16 finds Paul explaining to the Roman Christians. .
that the day is coming. .when God, through Jesus. .
will judge our SECRETS?
God judges the things that NO ONE else knows about. .
all those thoughts or motivations that we try to keep hidden from view by portraying an image that we want people to have of us. .
hiding those dirty little attitudes from everyone. .
except for God!! What ATTITUDES. .
are responsible for keeping secrets (2:16)??
Judging others (2:1)??
Being stubborn and insisting on doing things OUR way (2:5; 2:8)??
Feeling good about our righteousness (2:17-20)??
I’m not sure what you all think. .
but pride comes to my mind. .
I know I tend to have my own struggles with a proud attitude. .
but in doing a little study through scripture. .
I’m going to bet. .
that pride is a pretty high up attitude issue for L-O-T-S of folks. .
Because PRIDE is addressed abundantly throughout the entire bible!
So, where DOES pride stem from? Let’s see. .
The pride of your heart has deceived you.. Obadiah 1:3
But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride. .Daniel 5:20
Your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God. .Deuteronomy 8:14
The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. .Proverbs 16:5
Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. .Proverbs 18:12
So, it seems like pride. .
is an attitude that afflicts the heart. .
and attitudes ingrained into the heart. .
are tough to get rid of on our own!!
Peter tells us via John Mark. .in Mark 7:20-23. .
 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. 21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”
God tells us that we don’t have to be tied to those attitudes any more. .
The people in Paul’s day. . struggled with heart issues as much as we do today. .
and God shows in verses 2:28-29. .
that we are not Christians just because we were born to a Christian or because we went through a ceremony that says we are a Christian. .
A true follower of Christ. .is one whose HEART is RIGHT with GOD. .
and that the true symbol of Christianity. .
was a circumcision, not of our flesh as an outward sign. .
but of our hearts. .
BY God’s Spirit. .
So in taking a moral from the lesson to the Romans regarding their attitudes in chapter 2. .
I’ll ask you. .
This weekend. .ask God to search your hearts. .and show you. .
any ATTITUDES that need adjusted by the Spirit of God. .
and then be obedient to that conviction to follow God’s leading and refining! Let’s start being mindful of those wicked little attitudes that creep out of our mouths and in our actions via our hearts. .
and prayerfully ask God to keep cutting them away. .
until our heart is TOTALLY right with the Spirit of God. .
a process called sanctification!!
Our assignment for the week. .
was to read through Romans. .Share what jumped out at you this week!!
As I already mentioned, lots and lots of things made me think and lots of things got underlined and marked up. .
but going back through tonight. .
what really spoke to my heart over the last few weeks. .
was that Paul wrote to the Roman church that he desired to see them in person to encourage. .
and also to BE encouraged by their faith (1:12)!!
He mentions it at the beginning of his letter. .as well as again at the end of his letter (15:32). .
As believers in Christ. .we are meant to ENCOURAGE one another in our FAITH. .
I find it encouraging to see what makes you each tick. .
what sticks out and speaks to you from week to week. .
I get encouraged to see people take hold and start growing. .or progressively grow. .
I’m always encouraged to know that I am not the only one that struggles with things. .
and I was encouraged to have someone pen me a note this past week to say they were encouraged to be reminded. .
that I am human, just like everyone else. .
with the same attitudes, failures, fears, and issues as every other human!!
And THAT encourages me!!
I’m eager to see where God has taken everyone else this week!!
Enjoy your weekend! Love Mel

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