Monday, December 9, 2013

Romans. .Week 2. .Assignment

Romans has a LOT of basic stuff in it. .
I encourage you. .don’t start skimming through it because it sounds too familiar. .
try to read it every time as though it were the first time that you have seen it before!!  

In our email bible study discussion from last week's notes. .
the ladies hit on the topic of our behaviors. .
which I wanted to take back to chapter 2 for a bit. .Let’s dissect the sin of “Judging”. .
we have probably all been on the judgment side of someone else’s thoughts. .
but I’d dare to say FREQUENTLY. .
we are on the JUDGING side of the coin. .
Its so human, isn’t it??
So much so. .that, now, in all three books that we have studied. .
it is a hot topic for the biblical authors that pen out God’s voice. .
But WHY do we judge??
Anyone ever thought about that??
I really hadn’t until the last couple days. .why do I judge??
I came up with some reasons. .
jealousy. .anger. .having some knowledge that others may not have. .
to name a few of my personal reasons. .
but as I continued to ponder that through the day. .
I could trace each of those excuses down to ONE prime reason for my judgmental attitudes when they occur. .it’s PRIDE!!
Don’t believe me. .consider some of your own situations and see what you think about it. . 

From my perspective. .
Jealousy. .generally goes back to a PRIDE issue that won’t let go of the fact that they are something that I am not. .or they possess a quality that I wish I had, but don’t. .
anger. .is a PRIDEful attitude. .that they aren’t doing things the way that I see fit. .or they said or did something that hurt my PRIDE (when you really stop and think about it. .not my feelings. .but my PRIDE!)
Knowledge deficit on the part of another. .goes back to a PRIDE that I consider myself better than they are based on the choices they make. .or the way they live their life. .or sometimes just because I know that they don’t know God. .and I do. .
PRIDE. .it’s an attitude issue. .and it can sure be an UGLY one!!
If you remember back. .
PRIDE of life. .was one of the reasons that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (they thought they knew better=Pride). .
and 1 John 2:16 reminded us to put aside the things of the world. .including the PRIDE of life. .
So then. .can we get rid of a deep rooted, human attitude issue like pride on our OWN??
 I can’t!! Pride. .is a DEADLY attitude. .many scriptures tell us throughout Old and New. .
that PRIDEFUL people will not inherit heaven. .That God detests a prideful heart. .
So. .if we know that we have a root evil of pride in our hearts. .
should we take a passive approach. .and hope it goes away in time??
I’m thinking not. . 

Pride is much like a cancer to our souls. .
if we allow it to stay. .it will eat our lives away. .so then WHAT??
 I think that one thing we each need to do. .
is to ask God. .in His divine Sovereignty. .
to remove that cancer of Pride from our hearts!!
That would also be an example of praying in line with God’s will. .right?? 
We KNOW He doesn’t like pride. .
we know He tells us He will answer any prayer that we ask in line with His will. .
so. .it seems to me. .that we should ask. .in faith. .
and wait for Him to deliver. .
and surgically remove that prideful attitude that roots our judgmental attitudes in our lives. .
Anyone vote that God CAN do that for us?? 

I heard a great description of sanctification yesterday. .
the preacher described our life as this (the concept was his. .the words are mostly mine). .
When we accepted Christ’s gift of eternal life. .we MOVED. .
we moved from our old neighborhood. .to a new one. .
We moved from that street of evil deeds and thoughts and death. .to a new street. .
in which God was King. .we lived in a house of abiding in Christ. .
and all the new clothes that we should put on as a child OF Christ.
BUT. .on our way home from work. .we get to the old turn off street. .
and we have to stop and think sometimes. .
which way we are supposed to be going to get to our new home. .
Sometimes we even forget long enough. .
that we find ourself in the DRIVEWAY of our OLD house. .and have to TURN around. .
and drive back to our new house. .
Such as it is with sanctification by Christ. .We have to take it captive in our mind. .
and go forward onto the right street. .sometimes we WILL go back. .
make the wrong choices, do the wrong things, slip back into an old sin. .
It’s not easy. .it’s a process!!
 But. .if I have a new house that promises LIFE. .why. .oh WHY. .
would I want to go back into that old house. .and camp out again??  

It seems that the things I have come across over the last few weeks. .
are constantly reminding me about how important our MINDS are in our process too. .
Not to be missed in the book of Romans either. .
where I circled the word “mind” a LOT. .But finishing up this comment. .
I will go back into Romans 12. .which several people commented on. .
12:1 says. .Do NOT be conformed to this world. .
but be TRANSFORMED by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
How do we DO that??
We must be in tune to what God TELLS us His will is. .via the bible. .
and then be DOERS of that. .I think that it is fair to say. .
that the majority of people (Christians I think as well) in our society today. .
let the WORLD tell us what is acceptable. .
we fill our mind with the world. .
books, TV, media, drama, sports on and on and on. .
but fail to fill our MINDS with the BIBLE. .to let GOD tell us what is acceptable. .
to renew our minds so we are READY to act like people that want to glorify God. .
Romans 12 does a REALLY good job. .of telling us WHAT we should look like. .
Not sure about you all. .but I miss the  marks noted there. .
more often than I would like to admit (Pride?? uh, yeah!)
We also should go back to 12:3. .
where Paul reminds us NOT to think of ourselves more highly than we should. .
we need to EACH take some time and do an ASSESSMENT based on God’s word. .
an assessment of what our strengths are. .and where our weaknesses lie. .
so that we can ask GOD according to His will. .
to make us into the Christian women. .
that He wants us to be. .so we can be effective for HIM!! 

One of the women noted how hard it was to teach our CHILDREN not to judge. .
when it is so easy for us, as adults to do it. .
Without even thinking it seems. .

My reply was this. .
We take that approach in youth group. .
much the same as I take in this bible study. .
we HAVE to be in the Word of God. .
with an attitude of WANTING to be transformed by it. .
it is not something that we can MAKE our kids do. .
it’s not something that I can make any reader of this study do. .
that desire to be transformed HAS to come from within. .you. .and me. .and our kids. .
we should pray. .that our kids can see us demonstrate that. .
and that they will desire the same attitude and change in their own life!
And THAT. .takes us out of control. .but take heart. .it puts GOD in control. .
Pssst. .He is anyway
 Raising kids in today’s culture is H-A-R-D!!! 

And finally. .
about the first day that we started our study over 2 months ago now. .
I advised you to be on the alert. .
the alert for Satan to start getting in the middle of your study time, and throwing distractions. .
what I failed to warn you about. .

Is that the evil one. .
also intends to attack us in any and every part of our lives. .
our thoughts. .our families. .our relationships. .
our careers. .our choices. .our hearts. .and our MINDS!!

 My own personal opinion is this. .
God allowed Satan to attack Job in EVERY part of his life, without taking Job’s life (I think we read about this the first month with 1 John). Job’s response to all of the attacks, if you recall. .
was to the Glory of GOD! He made choices EACH time Satan attacked. .
and we find that each time. .
Job made a concentrated effort to believe GOD. .and to trust GOD. . 

Sometimes. .in my own life for sure. .
I believe with my HEART. .that God allows us to be tested. .
to see what we are made of. .
a couple weeks ago. .my choice was to walk what I talk. .
Am I going to trust God to take care of what He says He will. .
or will I make an effort to fix it myself and botch it up (Like Abraham and Sarah did by sending Abraham to Hagar to have their son in the flesh. .instead of waiting for God to come through).

Sometimes I make the wrong choice. .
the ungodly choice. .
a dishonoring, hypocritical choice. .
God still loves me. .He still forgives me. .
and hopefully I am convicted and learn how to be stronger the next time. .
and perhaps. .I learn, that I CAN’T be stronger in my own power the  next time. .
but GOD can make me stand (Romans 14:4). .and He will. .if I involve Him.
Our Spiritual life is a BATTLEGROUND ladies. .
not a PLAYGROUND (courtesy of my preacher).
Satan will tempt us. .and distract us. .and make people hurt us. .
and God will allow that. .
His love is not a PAMPERING love. .it is a PERFECTING love. .
God is sanctifying us. .He is molding us each day that we ALLOW Him to do that. .
so that we will look more and more like Jesus every day that He leaves us on the earth! Are you looking in the mirror. .
are you seeing more and more of Jesus Christ. .
and less and less of your own self reflection??
If not .I would stop RIGHT now. .and pray about that!!  

And IF we persevere. .
IF we push through strife and distraction and attitudes. .
and continue seeking God in everything we do in life. .
THIS verse should fire you up. .
Revelation 20:10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 

SOO. .this next week. .read Romans. .
with the intention of seeing who God says He is. .
There are a LOT of scriptures in these 16 chapters. .that identify God to us. .
It would take me 1/2 a notebook to get them all noted. .

So. .I am asking you to write about the ones that impact you. .who does God show Himself to be. .in your mind this week! Be prepared to share some of them next weekend. .
 Pray for God to reveal Himself to us each. .
in His word this week!!
Blessings to all! Melanie


  1. Hi Melanie! It's me....your long lost blog friend, Bonnie. I just read your post...and wow! it was awesome! I'm sorry I never did get back to you about joining in on the Bible study. I see that you have been blogging about it and that is fantastic! I have to say, that judging is one of the things that I always am aware of when I do it and I have to consciously stop myself. It is one of my obstacles to overcome and pray about! Of course I still judge, but I am thankful that I am so aware of it when I do it so I can stop...or try to stop!! and continue to work on it. I am trying to get back into blogging...again! Merry Christmas!!

  2. I read with a highlighter in one hand and with a pen/pencil close by. I began reading Romans in the New Living the other day and was amazed at the amount of highlighting I had done. I began with green, highlighting those things that really popped out.. now I plan on using a different color to underline what I learn about God's character. By the end, Romans will look like a rainbow.

    more later (see… procrastinating!!!)

  3. Bonnie, my friend. .welcome back!! We'd be delighted to have you join us any time you can manage it!! I always love your comments! Judging has definitely been a big notation made by many people in the study so far, especially in my email group. .Obviously it was a big deal in ancient times too..cause the NT authors spend a lot of time addressing it and reminding us not to do it!! Connie. .I can't wait to see your Romans in rainbow!! There is just such an INCREDIBLE amount of information in there!! Can't wait to see what pops out to you this week in your reading!