Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday, January 19-Genesis 46-48; Romans 15:14-33-Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Genesis 46-48; Romans 15:14-33

 I posted my thoughts on the first part of the Genesis passage here. Instead of copying and pasting my ideas from a few months ago, I thought I'd just link it and focus my thoughts on one of the passages in Romans.

Romans 14:15&16
15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (ESV)

15 Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder. For by God’s grace, 16 I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit. (NLT)

So, my dear friends, don’t take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It’s not criticism. I’m simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me, this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God’s Holy Spirit. (the Message)

Observation: It's hard to take advice when we think we have it all together.

Application: I take criticism very personally. I am, by nature, a crier. Therefore I tend to get super emotional over things...even things that don't really matter in the grand scheme of life. As Christians we are criticized. Our lives are so counter cultural (or they should be!) to the way that the rest of society lives. Others hold us up to a higher standard, often forgetting to take into account that they should not be looking up to us as models of perfection because we are just flawed sinners. It is not our lives they should be looking too but Jesus who lived a perfect life. 

Being held to a higher standard means that people are watching us. How we react to things, what we say, what we do, how we conduct ourselves in our workplaces, our language, what we tolerate in music, movies, and tv shows, etc. What we model is sometimes is what draws people to Christ or away from Him. A reminder about this can feel and sound like a criticism but that's not what Paul is saying. He is reminding them that they are the walking talking advertisements for Christ and that is a super important job. As sinners we have have been saved through Christ and now it is our job to invite other sinners to experience the same grace and forgiveness. Jesus died not just for some people but for all people. How will they know this if we do not tell them?

Prayer: Gracious Heavenly Father,
Your holiness is far beyond our comprehension. As we face daily challenges to sin and step into sin so easily we are reminded daily that we can come to You over and over to cover our debt. Thank you. Your salvation plan was far beyond what we deserve. Help us to share this redemption with others so that we all may become whole by the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Genesis 49-50; Romans 16


Conrad said...

In our reading today, this is the passage that stood out to me. Romans 15:30-33

I have one request, dear friends: Pray for me. Pray strenuously with and for me—to God the Father, through the power of our Master Jesus, through the love of the Spirit—that I will be delivered from the lions’ den of unbelievers in Judea. Pray also that my relief offering to the Jerusalem believers will be accepted in the spirit in which it is given. Then, God willing, I’ll be on my way to you with a light and eager heart, looking forward to being refreshed by your company. God’s peace be with all of you. Oh, yes!

Two things. Even though Paul knew that witnessing to the unbelievers would not be an easy challenge, he did not back down. He was aware of the potential dangers, and looked to God for guidance to equip him to have the most effective way to deliver the news.

Second, he requested strenuous prayer from his brothers in Christ. It challenged me to consider: how strenuously am I praying for the missionaries in our church? And, when they come home needing to feel refreshed, do I thank them for their work, listen to their experiences, and encourage them the way Paul said that he would need to be?

Tammy said...

I used to think that Joseph was being a bit cruel to make the Egyptians pay so much for the grain they themselves had contributed to the storehouses. But then I heard a good point.... they knew about the 7 years of good years and 7 years of lean times. They knew Joseph was storing up food to be used during the famine. There was nothing stopping them from doing the same thing for their families. In fact, that would have been the wise thing to do. But Joseph's plan allowed them a way to purchase grain, despite their poor stewardship.