Romans: March 20 – Write it Out

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MARCH 20: Journal

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Write about a time when you tried to experience real transformation in the past. Were you successful? If not, could it be that the results were not a lack of effort but a lack of trusting Christ in your everyday decisions?  

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Ezra 5 & 6

 

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.

 

 

Romans: I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

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MARCH 19: I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Romans 1:16 reads, For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

On this verse, the NLT Life Application Study Bible1 notes, “Paul was not ashamed of the Good News about Christ because he knew that it was true and that it could not be refuted by even the brightest minds of Greek or Roman culture…When you feel embarrassed to be a Christian, remember what the Good News is all about. If you focus on the reality of God’s transforming and life-changing power in the world rather than on your own [feelings of] inadequacy, you will find the confidence you need to boldly speak about your faith.” 

Those experiencing real life transformation are regularly coming to see themselves in the same way God sees them. They see themselves as holy, saints, deeply loved by God, belonging to Christ, chosen, a part of God’s family. 

When we allow the truths of the Gospel to permeate our lives, any and all shame is ridden. We come to a point of wanting to share the Good News and to not fear any consequences. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 1:16-17

Do you currently have any shame or fear when it comes to sharing the Good News with others? If so, where do you think that fear or shame comes from? 

PRAYER:

Today, write out your own prayer to God. Confess any fear or shame you may have, and continue to ask Him to help you see yourself in the same way He sees you. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Ezra 3 & 4

 

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.

 

 

Romans: You Are Holy

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MARCH 18: You Are Holy

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

When you wake up each morning, do you see yourself as a saint or as a sinner? If the latter, consider this: 

  • You, …are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people. Romans 1:7
  • I am writing to God’s holy people… Ephesians 1:2
  • I am writing, to you who belong to God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:1
  • I am writing to God’s chosen people… 1 Peter 1:1
  • God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5

These passages are just a brief snapshot of what the Scriptures say about all who have professed faith in Christ. They affirm that you are deeply loved by God. Holy. A Saint. You belong to God and to Christ. You are chosen. You are part of God’s family. If transformation includes knowing who you are and whose you are, these verses offer a glimpse into the transformation God has made in you and is continuing to make in you. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 1:1-17

In your Study Bible of choice, read through the commentary notes for today’s reading. What if anything did you learn about God or how God sees you?  

Do you struggle to believe that God sees you as holy, a saint, that you belong to Him, that you are chosen, and that you are part of God’s family? If so, why do you think that is? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess there are many days in which I see myself more as a sinner than as a saint. Continue to help me see myself in the same way You do. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Ezra 1 & 2

 

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.

 

 

Romans: Practice Makes Transformation

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MARCH 17: Practice Makes Transformation

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

What would you say is necessary for real transformation to take place? 

A football coach may think about how to transform each individual player to physically and emotionally prepare for each game. While the process for each player may be a little different depending on their athletic ability, each individual will practice over several weeks, even months, to prepare for the season. The results may not be noticeable after a week or two, but after continued practice the coaches and players can see and feel the difference within their body. They are mentally and physically prepared for the challenges to come.

The spiritual life isn’t much different. We may think we can attend church on Sunday and not put in any additional spiritual practices throughout the week. But then when difficulties in life arise (and they always do) we are woefully unprepared. We need ongoing spiritual practices to experience real life transformation. 

As you read today, think about what kinds of spiritual practices Paul maintained each day to prepare to write this letter? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 1:1-17

What kinds of spiritual practices do you think Paul maintained every day to prepare to write this letter? 

Each person is unique. What kinds of spiritual practices do you think best help you to get to know God better? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, if I had to summarize my current life in one word, I could easily use the word “busy.” I spend a tremendous amount of time doing things that do not necessarily lead me closer to You or others. As I continue to engage in Your Word and in prayer this week, may the truths of who You are and who I am sustain and transform me for the challenges I will face in other areas of life. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Daniel 9, 10, & 12

 

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.

 

 

Romans: Inspirational vs. Transformational

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MARCH 16: Inspirational vs. Transformational

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

If you were to watch or read the news today, chances are high that you would read something about local or national politics, as well as crimes or other worldwide disasters. You may be lucky and have the opportunity to read some “good news,” finding an article that is uplifting and encouraging to your soul. 

These “good news” stories in today’s media are few and far between. Moreover, they’re also inspirational in nature. They may provide some encouragement for your day, but all in all they won’t have a significant impact on how you live. 

The author of Romans (Paul) begins this lengthy letter by declaring from the outset that he has been chosen by God to preach the “Good News.” The Good News Paul speaks of is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is transformational. It not only has the power to provide us with daily encouragement, but it has a significant impact on how we live. 

As you read today, pay close attention to how Paul describes the “Good News” of Jesus Christ and how these truths can and should impact our daily lives. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS, ROMANS 1:1-17

In your Study Bible of choice, read through the introduction to the Book of Romans. 

When was Romans written? What are some of the key themes of the book? 

Re-read Romans 1:3-6. What are some of the truths about the Good News? What do these truths mean for you personally? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, it’s easy for me to get caught up in what others say or think about me, but ultimately it is You who determines who I am. You see me as Your friend and as a Saint. May these truths resonate deep in my spirit each and every day! I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Daniel 5 & 6

 

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.

 

 

Romans: Introduction

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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!

Justin

Original Introduction: 

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.