Romans: Don’t Cause Others to Stumble

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June 2: Don’t Cause Others to Stumble

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

We all have a tendency to determine what is right and wrong in our own minds. When it comes to clear topics in the Scriptures – like the command to love God and love others – we would all say that’s a good and right thing to do. But sometimes we determine other things are wrong even if they may not be. 

Paul deals with this tension in Romans 14. As he wrestles with this tension, he’s sure to say that the one wrong thing we can do is to condemn or look down on another Christian for something they’ve done that may not actually be wrong. Some of the examples he uses include (1) Eating anything vs. eating only vegetables, (2) Thinking one day is holier than another day, (3) Drinking wine verses not drinking wine. 

What’s the solution presented? The NLT Life Application Study Bible notes, “Everything we do affects others, and we have to think of them constantly. God created us to be interdependent, not independent. We who are strong in our faith must, without pride or condescension, treat others with love, patience, and self-restraint.”

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 14

How regularly do you find yourself condemning or judging other Christians for things that may go against your personal convictions, but may not be considered wrong by God? 

What sticks out to you most from Romans 14? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that it’s sometimes easy for me to look at others’ actions or behaviors and have judgmental thoughts towards them, even when their actions aren’t necessarily wrong. Help me to remember that others may have a personal perspective or conviction a little different from my own, but that I can be united with them simply due to our faith in You. 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: Luke 24

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: Live for All to See

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June 1: Live for All to See

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Romans 13:13-14 reads, Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

There’s a strong biblical principle that says, “We are to live in the world, but not of the world.” In this world, we may hear about or be invited to participate in wild parties, drunkenness, or sexual promiscuity. We may also participate in negative behaviors that aren’t as visible, such as quarreling, jealousy, envy, greed, and more.

But like Christ, Paul appeals that we live decent lives for all to see. In John 13:35 Jesus says, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” In other words, living good lives for all to see isn’t about adhering to a list of right’s and wrong’s, do’s and don’ts. It’s simply about loving others in the same way Christ loved us. 

time, money, and personal involvement. No individual has the capacity to express love to a whole community, but the body of Christ in your town does. Look for people who need your love, and look for ways you and your fellow believers can love your community for Christ.”

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 13

Take some time to write out your own definition of the word love. What does it mean to truly love others?  

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I know there are times when I may say or think that my actions towards others are loving. But when I take opportunities to fully reflect on these actions I recognize that my desire isn’t always to truly love them. Instead, I discover some self-centered tendencies within my actions; “loving” others in order to get something in return. As Your Word says, Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Psalm 139:23-24)

(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: Mark 16

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: May 29 – Write it Out

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May 29: Write it Out

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

READING & JOURNALING:

In what ways are you growing in changing the way you think? How is this impacting your life, and the lives of those you interact with on a regular basis? 

(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: John 19

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: Really Love Them

11 Week 11 Romans BannerMay 28: Really Love Them

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

In Romans 12:9 we read, Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. This verse ought to make each of us pause and reflect, prayerfully considering how we may be pretending to love others instead of really loving them.

The NLT Life Application Study Bible notes, “Most of us have learned how to be courteous to others—how to speak kindly, avoid hurting their feelings, and appear to take an interest in them. We may even be skilled in pretending to show compassion when we hear of others’ needs, or to become indignant when we learn of injustice. But God calls us to real and genuine love that goes far beyond being hypocritical and polite. Genuine love requires concentration and effort. It means helping others become better people. It demands our time, money, and personal involvement. No individual has the capacity to express love to a whole community, but the body of Christ in your town does. Look for people who need your love, and look for ways you and your fellow believers can love your community for Christ.”

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 12:9-21

Is there anybody in your life you may be pretending to love instead of really loving them? 

Think (and pray) about one way you can really love them today, and then do it. 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess I don’t like to think about the likelihood that I pretend to love others instead of really loving them. Help me to not only be polite, but to use real concentration, prayer, effort, time, and money to really love others in the way You have loved me. 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: Matthew 27:32-66 & Luke 23:26-56

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: Mutual Service

11 Week 11 Romans BannerMay 27: Mutual Service

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

What is one gift or talent you don’t currently have but would like to? For some, it may be the ability to sing or play a musical instrument. For others, it may be the ability to teach. Others still may desire to have more so they could give more. 

In Romans 12:3-8, Paul notes that it’s important to properly evaluate ourselves so that we may best serve one another. Some may think they don’t have anything to offer, but this isn’t true, we all have something to contribute. Others may want to contribute more than they’re able, but their real desire may be to do so for success or achievement. 

What’s the solution? Paul says the solution is to properly evaluate ourselves, recognizing that we all have something to contribute, but not to be overly proud about what we contribute, nor to be overly negative in thinking that it isn’t enough. Instead, we should see one another as parts of the same body. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:25-26, This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 12:3-8, 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-26

What do you believe you are most able to contribute to the body of Christ? In what ways does your contribution help bring harmony to the church? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I’m grateful for the reminder that I have something to contribute to the church body, but that I ought not be proud of my contribution. Continue to help me grow in humility so that I can mutually serve others, and help me to receive the service others gladly offer me. 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: Matthew 26:35 – 27:31

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: Change the Way You Think

11 Week 11 Romans BannerMay 26: Change the Way You Think

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

In Jesus’ very first sermon, He begins by saying, Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2). The Greek word translated as repent in your English Bible is metanoia. In Greek, the word is best understood as a changing of the mind. In other words, Jesus taught that in order to really get to know God and to experience life transformation, you need to change the way you think. 

This truth is repeated in Romans 12:2, which reads, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

 This verse can be applied in countless ways. But one of the best ways to think through it is by answering these questions: 

  • What am I most seeking in life right now? (Peace, contentment, love, acceptance, control, other…?)
  • Where am I most looking for it? (In which behaviors and customs of this world am I looking for it?)
  • What steps must I take to change the way I think about this? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 12:1-2

Read Romans 12:1-2 with the aid of a good study bible, then walk through this exercise:

  • What am I most seeking in life right now? (Peace, contentment, love, acceptance, other…?)
  • Where am I most looking for it? (In which behaviors and customs of this world am I looking for it? From what other people say or think about me? From what I buy or have? Elsewhere?)
  • What steps must I take to change the way I think about this?

PRAYER:

Today, write out your own prayer to God, inviting Him to help you change the way you think and to discover what you’re seeking in Him.

(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: John 17

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: A Living Sacrifice

11 Week 11 Romans BannerMay 25: A Living Sacrifice

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Romans 12 begins with the word, therefore. This is the author’s way of saying, “Here comes a summary of everything I’ve written up until now.” 

The NIV translation of Romans 12:1 reads, Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. The ESV Study Bible notes that “we give ourselves entirely to God because of His saving grace (God’s mercy), as shown from Romans 3:21-11:36.” This mercy from God may be best understood as undeserved kindness, a prominent theme throughout the book of Romans. 

As you begin this week, take the opportunity to reflect on the truth that God sacrificed everything for you. You may occasionally feel unworthy, unloveable, or not enough. But God says, “I gave my life for you because you are worth it to Me. You are my beloved child!” As this truth takes root deep within you, you will not only accept the invitation to be a living sacrifice, you’ll be transformed into somebody who wants to be a living sacrifice.   

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 12:1-2

How would you explain to others what it means to be a living sacrifice? Using your study bible, are there other passages you can point to as to what it means to be a living sacrifice? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I confess that when I think about being a living sacrifice I sometimes have the thought that it would be easier not to do so. Help me to better understand that You have given me life and are inviting me to live it to the full. You’re not asking me to sacrifice myself so that I die, you’re inviting me to sacrifice of myself because You have already made me fully alive. May this truth help me to live fully and freely. 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: Matthew 24:32-51

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: May 22 – Write it Out

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May 22: Write it Out

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

READING & JOURNALING:

What have you learned about the grace of God this week? What have you learned bout yourself?  

(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: Matthew 24:1-31

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: God is the Ultimate Goal

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May 21: God is the Ultimate Goal

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Romans 11 ends with a profound truth: You were made for God’s glory. While Paul doesn’t use the word you here, he instead uses a much bigger word – everything. 

Romans 11:36 reads, For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.

The NLT Life Application Study Bible notes, “In the final analysis, all of us are absolutely dependent on God. He is the source of all things, including ourselves. He is the power that sustains and rules the world that we live in. And God works out all things to bring glory to himself. The all-powerful God deserves our praise.”

Additionally, the NIV Zondervan Study Bible notes that if everything is intended for God’s glory, this means the ultimate goal of all things must be God. It says, “God is the source, means, and goal of all things.”

As you  read today, consider this: What goals do you currently have in life? Is knowing and understanding God the ultimate goal of your life? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 11:33-36

What goals do you currently have in life? Is knowing and understanding God the ultimate goal of your life?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, there are times in my life when I have a clear goal I’m looking to accomplish, but there are other times when I feel helpless and lacking in direction. Today, I simply thank You for the reminder that the ultimate goal is to fulfill the Greatest Commandment, to love the Lord my God with my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love my neighbor as myself. May I know you more and more each 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: John 16

 

 

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: The Grace of God

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May 20: The Grace of God

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Imagine what life would be like without the grace of God. It would be devastating. 

While Romans 11 has some complexity to it, the theme of the grace of God in verse 6 is quite clear – God’s grace is free and undeserved. 

Paul writes about the endless grace of God elsewhere: 

  • The grace of God is the totality by which men and women are made righteous (see Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7).
  • Grace is a state or condition in which we stand (see Romans 5:2).
  • Grace extends to more and more people (see 2 Cor 4:15). 
  • To hold to the law is to nullify grace (see Galatians 2:21)
  • The Christian is not under the law but under grace (see Romans 6:14.) 
  • Grace is opposed to what is owed (see Romans 4:4). 
  • The gospel itself, which is the good news of grace, can be called grace (see Acts 20:24) or the word of His grace (see Acts 14:3; 20:32).

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 11:1-10

With the help of a good Study Bible, write out your own definition of Grace. Also, write out three verses about the grace of God that stand out most to you. 

Who is somebody you can share one (or all) of these verses with today, or sometime in the near future? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I’m grateful for the reminder that Your grace is endless, and that the gospel message is ultimately a gospel of grace. Today, I simply want to thank You and praise You for your grace, and I ask for confidence to share passages about Your grace with others. 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: John 14 & 15

 

 

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.