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.

 

 

Romans: Believe in Christ

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May 19: Believe in Christ

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

In the Book of Romans, Chapters 9-11 seem to break from the flow of the rest of the letter. While scholars may debate the specific purpose of some portions from these chapters, others are quite clear. 

One of the most clear passages is in Romans 10:9-11 which reads, If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

The NLT Study Bible notes that the Greek word for heart in Romans 10:9 is kardia. The heart is “… the inner person. It is closely related to soul, mind, and spirit. In some contexts there is an emphasis on thinking and understanding; in others the emphasis is on feeling and desiring; in still others the focus is on making choices.”

Believing in Christ, therefore, impacts our thinking and understanding, our feelings, desires, and our choices. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 10:1-21

How would you explain to somebody what it means to believe in Christ, and the holistic impact that decision would make in their life? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I recognize that the heart of my belief in Christ is all encompassing, and I pray that You would continue to break my heart for what breaks Yours, to love myself in the same way You love me, and to love others as You love them. May others know that I believe in Christ by my love for them. 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 13

 

 

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: Sacrificing for Others

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May 18: Sacrificing for Others

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Think for just a moment about those you know who have not made a personal commitment to Christ. How much would you be willing to sacrifice for them in order for them to experience salvation? Now, think about the countless others you may not know who have never made a personal commitment to Christ. How much would you be willing to sacrifice for them? 

In Romans 9:2-3, Paul makes a startling statement. He writes, My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.

Surely, there would be other Jewish descendants Paul knew and loved deeply. But there would also be countless others he didn’t know. Yet Paul still says he would be willing to be forever cursed – cut off from Christ – if that would save them. 

The Life Application Study Bible notes, “How concerned are you for those who don’t know Christ? Are you willing to sacrifice your time, money, energy, comfort, and safety to see them come to faith in Jesus?” 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 9:1-33

How concerned are you for those who don’t know Christ? Are you willing to sacrifice your time, money, energy, comfort, and safety to see them come to faith in Jesus?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I know I would be willing to give something of myself for the salvation of others, but I don’t know if I would be like Paul – willing to be forever cursed – for the salvation of others. Help me to grow in my ability to think of myself less and to think of the eternal salvation of others more. 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 11 & Matthew 21:1-13

 

 

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 15 – Write it Out

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May 15: Write it Out

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

READING & JOURNALING:

Take the opportunity to look up and write out two or three other passages that align with Romans 8:38-39. You may find it helpful to utilize the cross-references in your study bible. 

(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 10

 

 

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.