“The Law of Life or Death: Romans Study Chapter 9.”

Hey you all! So I need to admit something…I was supposed to have had finished this Romans study series back in the spring…. I got a little side tracked! Yet, here I am! Excited about the words God provided for me to type and for your eyes to read intently. This chapter is a full one, so brace yourselves. It is also a deep root chapter about His deep love for us, and Paul’s prime example of “love thy neighbor more than yourself.” So, let us get started then 🙂

The opening of Romans 9 is a soul jerker for sure. We see instantly Paul’s deep sorrow and grief for the people of Israel. So many (leading up to modern day) have shunned God’s name and have chose to live life according to their beliefs and pleasures. Paul takes his grief, however, to a higher, rarer level. He goes on to say in verse 3, “I would be willing to be forever cursed — cut off from Christ! –if that would save them.” (NLT). Let’s all catch our breath here for a second….Paul stated, with full confidence and integrity, that He would have been WILLING to separate Himself from Heaven and Jesus, in order for someone else to have a chance to be born again. I cannot even fathom those words, it left me speechless. We all know of course that the only one who can truly save in the act of death, or crucifixion, is of course Jesus Christ Himself. However, what we are seeing here is a true lover and believer in Jesus extending His love with the act of selflessness. That leaves us the question for us who are active in The Way: “Are you willing to sacrifice your time, money, effort, and even your own faith to see someone come to know Jesus?”

Now, going deeper into this chapter, we begin to understand our true relationship identity in Christ. The Jews viewed God’s choosing of Israel as adoption.  They (and we) are undeserving of such kindness and mercy, yet God carried through and chose to take us in as His own children. In the Old Testament shows God’s beautiful promises for us through Abraham. His word proved faithful for him and his descendants. After Jesus’ death, His blood ran over that covenant, which was the key to the pathway of God. We are ALL his descendants. (Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.” Galatians 3:7 NLT) The importance in this is, yes God did choose the timeline to Jesus through the lineage of Issac (Sarah’s son) and not Ishmael (Hagar’s son), however, God does not look at good or bad, He looks at those who prove faithful to Him. God has the choice to choose whomever He wills. The doctrine of God’s choosing is based on His mercy and kindness, not of our merit.

The very last part of this chapter exemplifies what is going on today.

“I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that causes people to stumble, and a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” (Romans 9:33 NLT) 

The “rock’ that is placed here is referring to our stonemason, Jesus Christ. The Jews chose not to believe in Him because they felt like He did not exceed their expectations as the Messiah. This is still going on now… many, including myself at times, stumble again and again over Jesus because let’s all admit, faith does not make logical sense. That’s it though… it is not supposed to. We think we are supposed to be perfectionists and strive to do good deeds, when in spirituality, God does not look at that. He looks at the heart, and what its intentions are to serve Him selflessly and humbly. He loves us for our brokenness and weaknesses. Many will not partake on this calling, but all will fall before the Heavenly Throne when He comes back to take His children home.

 

 

“Everything In Its’ Time.” By: Melodie Rose Jordan.

 There is a special time for everything. There is a time for everything that happens under heaven. There is a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pick what is planted. There is a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. There is a time to cry, and a time to laugh; a time to have sorrow, and a time to dance. There is a time to throw stones, and a time to gather stones; a time to kiss, and a time to turn from kissing. There is a time to try to find, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away. There is a time to tear apart, and a time to sew together; a time to be quiet, and a time to speak. There is a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

I remember one July afternoon, my mom just came home from shopping around at yard sales she use to do every Saturday morning, as early as the sun rose up. I was sitting in my room, painting my nails with some bright pink nail polish, when she excitedly entered my room with a cute little pillow. There was a scripture verse sown right in the middle, along with some purple buttons and butterflies that said: “God makes ALL things beautiful.” Around that time, I was suffering severely with in-confidence, so I took the pillow politely and did not think much of it. I mean, it went along with my bed set, but the words did not settle into my heart the way it should have. 

Besides looks, my personal life was not an example of beauty either. I got my heart broken, people at school were bullying me, and I acted in a way young girls should not. Now that I am older, I look back at that pillow and wished secretly that my young teenage self would have gotten smacked in the head! I was behaving so selfishly and did not take the time to go to God about why I did not heed His wise counsel. 

What season are you in today? Are you in a fruitful season? Have you been bearing your fruit so heavily that others are feeding off your peace and goodness? Or are you in a drought season? Shuffling around to plant your “spiritual seeds” while looking up at the sky asking, “Okay God, are you going to pour down some heavenly waters soon?!” Let me tell you something friend, good season or bad, every season is a gift. You may have read this with a puzzled look. Let’s continue reading a little more of Ecclesiastes 3:  What does the worker get for his work? I have seen the work which God has given the sons of men to do. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put thoughts of the forever in man’s mind, yet man cannot understand the work God has done from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:9-11.

There is your answer, my dear friend! The hard work we put into our “Season” God makes it beautiful. The dry, dirt soil you see in your life garden may not look like anything now, but after being obedient to God and trusting in His name, He will pour down His rain and make sure your life garden is full of many fulfilling fruits that will sustain you and help you to grow. Today, if you are struggling to keep working out in your own garden, seek out Him. Pray for wisdom and strength to fill your heart and to rekindle your desire to want to work for God again. Not only will you be benefited, but others who are struggling with the same problem will also.