March 15: Introduction to Romans Series
A Note from Pastor Justin:
As you’re likely aware, this message series is starting off quite a bit differently. Today, Sunday March 15, the entire service will only be available on the South Ridge website – www.southridgechurch.net. The entire service, including worship and Pastor Seth’s message, should be available around 11:00am.
With that being said, I’m really looking forward to this series! Romans is a tremendous book and is well worth reading, studying, meditating upon, discussing, and journaling through. I’m glad you’re with us!
I pray that you will take the opportunity to worship with us online today, and I pray that this Devotional & Reading Guide will be a blessing for you in the days and weeks to come.
If you would like a digital copy of the Devotional & Scripture Reading Guide, you can download a PDF by clicking here. Similarly, if you choose to “follow” the South Ridge Blog, you will receive an email each morning (Monday – Friday) with the daily devotional, scripture reading, journaling questions, and prayer. Simply provide your email address in the “Follow Blog via Email” field and you will be signed up to receive the daily emails.
Finally, if you have any friends or family outside of South Ridge Church, feel free to share this Devotional with them as well.
Be blessed all!
One of the common beliefs in our culture is that technology helps us to do more in less time. But how well is this playing out in our everyday lives? The simple answer: not very well. For example, did you know…
- In the 1850’s the average American slept 9.5 hours a night. By 1950 that number dropped to 8 hours a night. Today, the average American sleeps under 7 hours a night.
- In 1967, futurists told a Senate subcommittee that by 1985, thanks to technological advances, Americans would be working 22 hours a week for 27 weeks a year. The average worker would retire at age 38! They predicted we would have too much time on our hands. The reality is that since 1973 leisure time in America has decreased 37 percent.
- Some estimate that only 10 percent of Christians are actively developing their relationship with God on a regular basis. This 10 percent includes many individuals we may think are too “busy” to do so (coaches, Fortune 500 executives, etc.), yet block out time every day to focus on their relationship with Christ.
We , as Americans, are generally over-committing to work, events, and other activities, while remaining under-committed to leisure, play, and developing our relationship with God. In other words, we are over-committing to life-draining activities and under-committing to life-giving ones. Something needs to change, but what?
Everyday, we all make time for the things we determine are most important. As we begin this series, my prayer is that we the people of South Ridge Church will determine that coming to know God more fully is the most important item on our daily schedules.
Let me encourage you to take a few important steps:
- Over the next 12 Weeks, commit to spending just 15-30 minutes a day, 4-5 days a week reading and thinking through the Book of Romans with us. If you get behind, don’t quit. It’s better to complete this step in more than 12 weeks than to not complete it at all.
- During this 15-30 minutes a day, commit to reading through this Reading Guide, reflecting and journaling through the questions provided within each daily reading.
- Use a good Study Bible and/or other resources as you read through this Reading Guide. Refer to https://southridgeblog.com/study-bible-info for more information on many excellent Study Bibles available today. Some suggestions include:
- NLT (or NIV) Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition, NIV Zondervan Study Bible, ESV Study Bible, and more.
Tips for Completing this Reading Guide:
- Take some time to think about what you may be able to eliminate from your current schedule in order to commit to having time to engage with God’s Word for 15-30 minutes a day. (It may be as simple as having less screen time each day.)
- Go to bed at a decent hour, getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Remember, your body and soul are united. You cannot grow spiritually if you are weary and tired physically.
- Spend 1-2 minutes in quiet silence before reading each day. Similarly, end your time with an additional 1-2 minutes of silence.
- Write down your answers to the questions from this Reading Guide in a journal.
- Try to get into the habit of reading and journaling at the same time each day. Many find it helpful to review their answers a couple of times throughout the day as they may have additional thoughts to include.
- Mark time in your calendar for each daily reading. This will help you remind yourself that this is as important (even more important) than other items on your schedule.
- Ask your spouse, a colleague, a Community Group Member, or another friend to check-in with you each week and ask what you’re learning.
- Don’t rush through the readings. If something comes up and you need to pause and return to it later, this will provide a better result than reading too quickly.
- Most importantly, remember that your time with God is not something to check off your list. It’s a dedicated time to get to know Him and grow in your relationship with Him.
What can I eliminate from my schedule to follow through with this commitment?
What time will I plan to go to bed each night to rest well?
What time will I plan to read and journal each day?
Who can I ask to check-in with me each week to help me follow-through?
Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.