Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Am I Full?

Romans 15
Am I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.  Romans 15:14


Am I full? Boy, am I full! Still I am full, two days after Thanksgiving dinner. Now that's talking turkey and the trimmings. What about spiritually? Paul tells us some things to be full of. Let's see what they are.

Paul is talking to the Christians at the church in Rome, but also to us. He says they are:
1. Full of Goodness-characterized by moral excellence in their lifestyles, yielding to the Holy Spirit's
                                sanctifying work in their lives.
2. Filled with all Knowledge-faithful in executing the truth they had received. They applied what they knew
                                            about Chrisitanity instead of letting it collect dust in their minds and on their
3. Admonished one Another-Admonish means "placing something in the mind." The person is led away from
                                            a false way through warning, instruction, reminding, teaching, and encouraging
                                            and his conduct is to be corrected. They were to lovingly confront those in their
                                            midst who were veering off the right path. Proverbs 27:6 says,"Faithful are the
                                            woulnds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy."
(Resource: Charles Swindoll's book Relating to Others in Love)

What am I supposed to be full of ? It's goodness, moral excellence; knowledge, applying what I know;
admonishment, warning others. I got to get busy. How about you? If the Romans could do it, I can do it.


KJV of verse 5 states: "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another, according to Christ Jesus." Verse 7 says,"Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God."

Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose Driven Life:
"Christianity is not a religion or a philosophy, but a relationship and a lifestyle. The core of that lifestyle is thinking of others, as Jesus did, instead of ourselves. Thinking of others is the heart of Christlikeness and the best evidence of spiritual growth. We are to accepting each other, thus glorifying God.

We bring God glory by loving other believers. How does Paul tell us to treat others?
  • By pleasing them (verse 2)
  • Being like minded (verse 5)
  • By accepting (verse 7)"
So I can't be full of myself and doing those things.  I see, Lord-when I please others, I please You; when I am in unity with others, I'm in unity with You; when I am accepting others, I'm accepted by You. Got it.
Now to apply.


Be full of goodness, knowlege, and admonition.

Strive to please others, yet not compromising the Word.

Work toward unity.

Accept others.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Considering my Neighbor

Romans 14
Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Romans 14:12-13  NLT


Who are my neighbors?  My neighbors are those who live along my country road. But  more than that, they are those in whom I come in contact with during each day. What does Paul and the Lord have to say to me in this chapter concerning my neighbor? How do I apply these key verses?

Jerry Falwell states in Liberty Bible Commentary:
We must interact with others in a method pleasing to the Lord and not in judging the strong or demeaning the weak. Even though our liberty in Christ may permit us to engage in a certain activity, we nevertheless may not be wise in doing so. Believers must not insist on their liberty in the presence of those whose conscience would be offended. To do so is not to walk in love under the lordship of Christ.

Charles Swindoll said, in his book Relating to Others in Love:
"We can successfully traverse the tightrope of liberty when we seek a proper balance between self-control and a love for others.
In verse 13b, Paul urges Christians not to turn their "freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."

Even though I am free in Christ, I still must consider my brothers and sisters and not cause them to stumble spiritually and fall into sin. So I need to watch my words and actions making them Christ-like, for I represent Him. Consider my neighbor.


Verses 17-19, NLT, state: "For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So, then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up."

Concerning these verses, Falwell says," The kingdom of God does not consist in observing or not observing days, eating or not eating meats, or any other secondary issues of religious scruples, but in righteousness
(perfect uprightness in our daily walk), peace (with God and brethren), joy (perfect union and intimate love through the Holy Spirit) . The basis of fellowship isn't peripheral matters of eating or drinking but the salvation which both enjoy in Christ."

In Paul's day, the controversy of Christians was over the views about diet and days. Was it right or wrong to eat meat offered to idols and observe to special days?
Today, our decisons are made concerning drinking alcohol, doing drugs, listening to music, watching movies, dancing, smoking tobacco, playing cards, wearing cosmetics, buying cars, homes, translations of the Bible, etc. "Do I?"  or "Do I not?", that's the question.
Paul's focus was on serving Christ and others, preaching and teaching the Word. So I need to watch my focus, keeping it on the Word of God, loving my Savior and others.

Henry Blackaby says in his devotional book, Experiencing God Day-By-Day, "A mark of spiritual maturity is a willingness to sacrifice personal comfort in order to strengthen other believers. Paul urges Christians to pursue only activites that promote peace and behavior that builds up others. It involves using all the resources God has given us to ensure growth and peace in the life of a fellow Christian. For Paul, choosing to edify Christians meant refraining from any activity that caused others to stumble."


Make sure my freedom in Christ does not cause others to stumble and fall into sin.

Base my decisions for participating in activities on pleasing God and not myself, seeking the Holy Spirit's leading.

Encourage others, not judge them.

Love my neighbors more.

Coat my words with love.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks Giving


Today is Thanksgiving in America. I'm taking time away from Romans to spend it with family and the Lord.
For what am I thankful ?
First, life provided by God. If my dad had not been kept alive during WWII, when he stepped on a mine in France, I would not be here. (He only lost a leg.)
Second, breath. God kept my heart beating and restored my breath after surgery in 2001.
Third, salvation, grace, mercy, the Bible, and eternal life, which all come from Jesus Christ.
Fourth, my husband of 38 years today. Happy anniversary, dear! He is a Christian and has served God for 30 years in the pastorate.
Fifth, my children, grandchildren, friends, church family, extended families, you faithful sisters, my country; the list can go on.
It all comes as blesssings from my God.

Psalm 100 says:
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Have a wonderful day, ya'll and count your blessings. I know I will.
Be back on Monday with Romans 14.

In Christ's love,

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting Dressed

Romans 13
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.   Romans 13:14


Before Sunday morning comes, I ususally have in mind what I will wear to church. That makes it faster for me to iron my clothes and get dressed. However, this past Sunday, what I chose didn't look right, so I thought. After I had ironed it and put on the dress, I decided to change. So there I stood at the closet, looking over the choices that were before me. Finally, I grabbed a dress, which I had not worn in a while, ironed it, and put it on. But, with the change of color, that meant changing my jewelry and shoes, too. Gee, there's so much to this "getting dressed" thing for us women. In chapter 13, Paul tells us how to get dressed as a Christian.

In verse 12, Paul says to "cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light." So I am to remove my dark deeds like clothing, listed in verse 13 (wild parties, drunkenness, sexual promiscuity, immoral living, quarreling, jealousy). Then I'm to put on the armor of light. What's the armor of light? It's the armor of God found in Ephesians 6:11-18 ( truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the Word of God). (NLT)

Now, in verse 14, Paul says,"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof."
Charles Swindoll says,"God's people should wear the protective garments of a holy lifestyle, not the fashionable yet destructive clothing of a sinful manner of life. Draw on Jesus' strength; align our thoughts with His mind-set; yield our will to His revealed plan; then we will be beacons in the midst of darkness. "

So I'm not completely dressed until I put on the whole armor of God-belt of truth, body armor of God's righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and sword of the Spirit, which is God's Word. It all protects me from the temptations of the world and strategies of the devil. (NLT)


Verse 8: "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." Verse 9b: " Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Verse 10:  "Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

David Guzik says," Some take this command to never borrow, but Jesus permitted borrowing in passages like Matthew 5:41. That isn't the sense of what Paul is saying here. Love your neighbor means to love the people you actually meet with and deal with every day."

Charles Swindoll says, "When a payment is due on a bill, we are told to pay it. When we meet our obligations, the name of Christ will be honored instead of defamed. The only debt we have that can never be fully paid is love for one another." Also, he said,"If we really love someone, we won't take advantage of that person's mate, life, or belongings. Instead, we will do whatever we can to benefit his or her life to the greatest degree."

Confession time: As I typed this, I found myself saying, "I wish so and so would read and apply these verses
and show  love towards me."  Yes, Lord, forgive me for not loving these people like You want me to love them, unconditionally.  If love is to begin with me, so be it. Fill me with Your Spirit of love.

1 Corinthians 14:1 says," Let love be your highest goal." (NLT)


Get dressed the way God wants me to-clothed in His armor with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and His Word.

Pay my bills.

Love my neighbor.

Surrender to God's will.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sacrificing and Loving

Romans 12
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living
sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  Romans 12:1-2


God wants what? He wants my body as a sacrifice? This warnout, wrinkling, graying, stiff body as a sacrifice? How can it be holy and acceptable unto God when it's so imperfect? Are you with me? We're going to find out. Read on, sister.

In the earlier chapters, Paul gave us doctrinal foundational truths. Now he sets his sights on service. He provides us with divinely inspired guidelines for applying the Christian faith. Let's get out our walking shoes and prepare for the journey. We're about to learn how God wants us to relate to others in love. First, we have to get ourselves ready.

God calls us to make a choice about the way we live for Him. Paul is appealing to our will. Our will must bring the body as a living sacrifice to God. Spiritually speaking, our bodies are brought to God's altar, as the priests did an animal for a sacrifice for their sins, in the O.T. Our body houses our spirit, soul, and mind. Therefore, when we willingly offer our body to God in His service, we offer all of us. Present your bodies means that God wants us, not just our work. We may do all kinds of work for God, but never give Him our self.

The sacrifice is living because it is brought alive to the altar; because it stays alive at the altar, its ongoing. In the O.T., the sacrifice had to be holy and acceptable to God: a male without blemish (Lev. 1:10) and an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord. (Lev. 1:9) God makes our life holy by burning away impurities.  What impurities, sins, things unpleasing to God,  does He need to burn away in my life?

Reasonable service is a life of worship according to God's Word. The animal sacrifice was for the person bringing it; it was killed in their place. God requires a blood sacrifice in payment for sin. Jesus paid that price for us.

In verse 2, we are  to resist  being conformed to this world, to embrace being transformed by Jesus Christ. Don't be conformed or  adapt  the world system. Christians are to think differently. Don't live based on feeling or be concerned about doing. Transformed means metamorphosis, like a caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly; it describes when Jesus'  transfiguration (Mark 9:23). We are transformed when we behold the face of God, spending time in His glory. As we are transformed on the inside, the proof is evident on the outside, as others can see what the good and acceptable and perfect will of God is through our life.

Paul explains how to live out the will of God:
  • Keep in mind the rich mercy of God to you-past, present, and future.
  • As an act of  worship, decide to yield your entire self to Him.
  • Resist conformity to the thoughts and actions of this world.
  • By focusing on God's Word and fellowship with Him, be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then our life will be in the will of God. It will prove what's good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Let the Holy Spirit do the transforming.

Yes, God wants my wornout, wrinklying, gray, stiff body for His service. It's what houses my soul, mind, and spirit. I realize that I can honor Him with this imperfect body, too. My dedication to God, my attitudes, feelings, and actions start to change as the Holy Spirit reshapes my mind-set.
(Resource:David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible)


Once my body is given to God, my mind is renewed and transformed, what is next? God wants us to relate to others in love. I Corinthians 14:1 NLT says,"Let love be your highest goal."

Charles Swindoll said,"Authentic love cannot flow on a horiszontal plane until its vertical relationship with God has been established." (This was meantioned above.)

Here's how we put the Christian love into practice: (using NLT)
1. Devotion: Don't pretend to love each other; really love them; hate what is wrong; hold tightly to what is
                      good. Love each other with genuine affection. (verse 10)

2. Unselfishness: Take delight in honoring each other (physical and spiritual families). (verse 10)

3. Enthusiasm: Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. (verse 11)

4. Hopefulness: Rejoice in confident hope. (verse 12)

5. Consistency: Be patient in trouble. Real love displays the ability to persevere in the midst of adversity
                           and trial. (verse 12)

6. Prayerfulness: Keep on praying. Believers who genuinely love consistently bring the needs of their
                             family, friends, associates, and enemies to Him in intercessory and petitionary prayer.

7. Generosity: When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. (verse 13)

8. Hospitality: Always be eager to practice hospitality. Hospitality means affection to strangers. Openly
                         invite them into our lives and express to them the sincere kindness of divine love. (verse 13)

In verses 14-21, Paul tells us more: bless our enemies, don't curse them, pray for them; be happy or weep with those who are; live in harmony; keep company with ordinary people; don't think you know it all; don't repay evil with evil; be honorable; live in peace with everyone; never take revenge, leaving it to God; conquer evil with good.
In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus tells us to love our neighbor and enemies.
Oh my, I do need reminding of these.
(Resource: Relating to Others in Love by Charles Swindoll)


Spend time in praise, prayer, and dedication to God.

Allow God's love to flow through me.

Take spiritual inventory using this chapter as my guide. I need to be more_______.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ways and Means

Romans 11
O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!   Romans 11:33


The depth of my wisdom and knowlege is but a teaspoon full in comparison to the ocean full of God's wisdom and knowledge. I was thinking just yesterday about how much knowledge God has. He knows about the intricate parts, how they function, and maintains their working together in all  the millions of human bodies, amimal kingdom, plant kingdom, all the planets and the universes, earth, mechanical devices, governments, and everything else which I left out; He maintains the spiritual realm; works out our circumstances for our good each day. It boggles my mind. We humans have specialists in each of these areas, yet their knowledge isn't  a thimble full compared to that of God's knowledge. Awesome! It is a word which I use to only describe God; no other person or thing is as  awesome as  my God!

"Deep things of God are only searched out by the Spirit of God, who reveals them to us," a quote from The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible.

In David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible, it states:
"As Paul considers God's great plan of the ages, he breaks into spontaneous praise. Paul realizes that God's   ways are past finding out, and God's wisdom and knowledge is beyond him. Who would have planned the whold sceanario with Israel, the Gentiles and the Church as God has planned it? Yet, we can see the great wisdom and compassion in His plan."

Amplified Bible reads verse 33b: How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!

Charles Swindoll's Learning to Walk by Grace states this:
"Paul is exclaiming the boundless extent of the Lord's understanding. His wisdom and knowledge are immeasurable. He knows everything about what was, is, and will be. He knows what is both possible and impossible. And He has the ability to apply His infinite knowledge with perfect skill and precision. God's ways are unfathomable-incapable of being traced by anyone but the Lord. His activities defy our complete understanding."

So whenever I want to ask God "Why?" , according to Lysa TerKurst I should ask "What am I supposed to do with it?" or "What can I learn from this?"


In KJV, verse 36 says,"For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
In NLT, verse 36  says,"For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen."
In Amplified Bible, verse 36 says,"For all things originate with him and come from him; all things live through him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in him. Amen (so be it)."

David Guzik says,"
1. It is all of Him. This plan came from God. It wasn't man's idea.
2. It is all through Him. Even if we had the plan, we couldn't make it happen. We couldn't free ourselves
    from this prison of sin and self.
3. It is all to Him. It's not for me, it's not for you, it's all to Him.It is to the praise of the glory of His grace
    (Eph.1:6). It's for His pleasure that we are created, and we find our fulfillment in bringing Him glory and

Acts 17:28 states:"For in Him we live and move and exist."

Isaiah 55:8 says,"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."

OK, Linda, His ways are best and so are His means of carrying them out. Sometimes I need a good talking to. Relax and let Him.


Thank you Lord for being You and making me, me.

You are my Awesome Savior, Redeemer, Jehovah Jire (provider)!

I'm going to  trust in Your wisdom, ways, and means to do it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Beautiful Feet

Romans 10
How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!  Romans 10:15b


Before our family reunion last June, my sisters-inlaw got a pedicure. Their feet were beautifully groomed with painted toenails. You know they wore sandals to the reunion. I myself couldn't justify spending the money to obtain that look, so I filed and painted my toenails and sanded of rough spots myself. Of course, I wore sandals, too, but my feet didn't seem as beautiful as theirs.

However, the key verse says my feet are beautiful. It's because I share the gospel and bring good tidings. Now that's encouraging. Hey, I had beautiful feet without paying the high price gals.( smile)

Jerry Falwell says,"The feet of a gospel messenger are beautiful things to those who believe the message and place their faith in the Lord Jesus. They become new creations in Christ Jesus. This may happen to any man who hears the gospel and believes. (May I add, woman too?)

There we have it. Do you want  beautiful feet? Join our "beautiful feet group" by sharing the gospel and glad tidings.


For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (verse 13)
(The whosoever is in reference to the Jews and Greeks, but all sinners are advised to call, too.)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (verse 9)

We confess "Jesus is Lord." We must believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead.
Confession with the mouth is evidence of genuine faith in the heart. Jerry Falwell

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(verse 10)

These are good verses to use in witnessing to a lost person. I just remember it's Romans chapter 10, find it, and my Bible is highlighted, so I read it.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (verse 11)
(Hearing the word is first.)


Share the gospel of peace and glad tidings of good things.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rocks and Stones

Romans 9
As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. Romans 9:33
And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.    Is 8:14
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation  a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.    Is 28:16


There have been times whenever I was walking on my country road that I stumbled over a rock. They aren't big rocks, mind you, smaller than  my fist, yet I stumbled. God forewarned the Jews that they would stumble over a stone, which is Jesus. They were so hard set on the law, that they stumbled over Him.

In the key  verse, 33, Paul is quoting Isaiah 8:14 and 28:16. There are several names for Jesus found here-
Rock, Tried Stone, Corner Stone, Sure Foundation, Rock of Offence, Stumbling Stone.

In Wesley's Explanatory Notes, he says:
They (Jew) stumbled at that stumbling stone-Christ crucified; it was foretold by their own prophet (Isaiah).
Though it is in truth the only sure foundation of happiness, yet will be in fact a stumblingstone and rock of offence-anoccasion of ruin to many, through their obstinate unbelief.

I realize that Jesus is the foundation of my faith, a solid rock on which I can build my life on, a firm corner stone that supports me during the storms of life. Does He make me stumble around? Is He a rock of offense? I don't think so.


In the first part of this chapter, Paul shows us the sovereignty of God.
According to Holman Bible Dictionary, the word sovereignty means God is in all and over all. It includes:
1. God is Lord of creation, brought the world into being and guides us toward a meaningful end.
2. God is to be obeyed not simply because He's mighty but because He is righteous. (Ps.50:6
3. God's purpose is to bring His creation to fulness and completion, to fellowship with Him. (Phil.2:13)
4. Not everyting which occurs in the world is God's will. His permissive will provides human freedom and
    laws of nature.

Jerry Falwell states in the Liberty Bible Commentary: 
God's  Sovereignty is exhibited:
  • in Israel's identity (verses 1-8) .The children of God are those who believe in the God of Abraham.
  • God's personal choices. (verses 9-13) . God chose Isaac and Jacob.
  • God's powerful will (verses 14-24) . Not even Pharoah's power was sufficient to thwart the eternal purpose of God.
  • in Israel's partial blindness (verses 25-33) . Israel trusted in Egypt for deliverance from Assyria instead of God. Had Israel trusted in her God rather than her law and her neighbors, she woul not have been confounded and dispersed throughout the world.
I can rest in God being sovereign. I'm glad that He is in control of the universe and my life. It brings me peace. There have been times in which I have been the one in control instead of submitting to His control for my life.

In verse 15, God chooses to whom He shows mercy and compassion. I praise You Father for Your mercy and compassion on me, a sinner. His love endures forever.


Jesus is the rock and stone of Linda's life.

Surrender to His sovereign will for my life.

Be grateful that He daily shows me mercy and compassion.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More than Conquerors

Romans 8
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans 8:37


As a child, we all probably called out for help from our daddy. I  recall any specific incident whenever I did.  My older sibblings got into a fight, physically, and I ran out to the chicken house calling out for my dad to help. Of course he came. (My dad was a farmer who worked at home, so he was always around some where if I needed him.)

When in times of trouble, do I cry out, "Father, help me?" As God's adopted child, I have that right.
Do I use it?

Verses 15-16 , NAS, state,"For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, 'Abba! Father!' The Spirit Himself bears witness with or spirit that we are children of God."
We are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. (verse 17)

In Liberty Bible Commentary, Jerry Falwell says:

"In the first century A.D. the adopted son was one who was deliberately chosen to perpetuate the name of his father and inherit his estate. He was not at all inferior to a son born after the course of nature. The word abba is an Aramaic word which was never used by the Jews in addressing God. But when the Holy Spirit dwells within us, our relationship to God the Father is such that we may address Him as freely as we would our own father."


Who or what can seperate us from God's love? Can anything? Do we allow trouble, calamity, persecution, hunger, destitution, danger, or threats to seperate us? (verses 35-39)
The answer is NOTHING. Nothing can seperate us from God's love; Paul is convinced. "Not death nor life, angels nor demons, our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell,  in the sky above or in the earth below. Nothing in all creation will ever be able to seperate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (verse 39 NLT) What a promise!

Christ has conquered death for me. Will I allow Him to conquer my life too? My flesh, sin, and the devil are trying to conquer me, but will I let them? Verse 37 says we are more than conquerors.
"In the midst of sufferings, illness, and afflictions we have God's presence. In the Greek, more than conquerors means super-conquerors. How can we be a super-conqueror? Through Him that loved us. All we have, we owe to Him," Falwell tells us.

There are a lot of golden nuggets in this chapter. Another one highlighted in my Bible are verses 26-27.
The Holy Spirit interceeds for us when our prayers are only groanings and not words. He knows our heart in those times. He interceeds for the saints according to the will of God. This is reassuring in that when I ask selfishly for something, He interceeds there.

Another thing important is that we have hope. Hope that is seen is not hope. (verse 24) Most of the time my hopes require waiting, which is hard to do.

"It is God who works all things out according to His will," Falwell states.
For whom does He work them out, but for a specific group-the called according to His purpose, those saved.

Last, Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest Journal says: 
The circumstances of a saint's life are ordained of God. All your circumstances are in the hand of God, therefore never think it strange concerning the circumstances you are in. He engineers our circumstances."

Henry Blackaby says,"Don't ever judge God's love based on your circumstances. Instead, evaluate your circumstances from the perspective of God's love. Watch to see how God expresses His love in each circumstance."


Cry out to my Heavenly Father, especially  when I need His help.

Act like a child of God.

Remember that nothing can seperate me from God's love.

With Christ working in me, I can be a super-conqueror.

Hope and keep hoping.

Believe that God has my circumstances in His control; trust Him  to work them for my good.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Law of Love

Romans 7
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Romans 7:19


As a child, I obeyed my parents out of love, wanting to please them, not out of fear. Although I knew what the consequences were if I didn't. So it should be with our Lord. We obey His laws, or strive to, because we love Him, not because we fear what could happen if we don't obey.
Jerry Falwell, in Liberty Bible Commentary, tells us this:
The function of the law is to reveal what sin truly is. Sin is the violation of God's law.
The purpose of our being free from the law and married to another, the risen Lord, is that we may produce fruit unto God. The fruit is a righteous life characterized by those "good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
Having been justified by faith, we're now set free from that which held us in bondage. We serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. The holy law of God is not an external code of  "do's" and "don'ts."
Rather it is a law of love written on our hearts. We do not obey that law because we fear the Lord, but because we love Him. Now in our marriage to Christ, we seek to be all that we can be and to do for Him all that we can do to please Him and demonstrate our love for Him.


In verse 18, Paul admits that in himself there is not the ability to do good. He wills (wishes) to do good, but sin has dominion over him. Sin is his master, his lord, his king. By himself he cannot break it. He is a defeated Christian when he is controlled by sin. It's the sin-principle in him, unyielded flesh occupying the Lord's temple. (May I add, so am I.)

Paul admits to us in verse 19 that the good he wants or wishes to do, he doesn't do it and the evil which he doesn't want to do, that's what he ends up doing. It's like letting angry words come out of my mouth. I don't want them to, but they still come out. For some reason, I can't grab those words and put them back into my mouth, to be unheard.

There's a constant warfare between the old sinful nature and our delight in the law of God. This will happen for as long as we live. I can't seem to go one day without sinning.

 "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" says Paul in verse 24.
He's in a helpless state and can't rid himself of his bent toward sinning. If Paul is to live a mature and godly life, and to delight in the law of God after the inward man, the strength to do so must come from outside himself. Only Jesus Christ can enable us to live a sanctified life.
To live a sanctified life we must know well what Christ has accomplished for us in our justification, daily reckon that we have died with Him and are alive unto righteousness, and yield ourselves completely to Him
(from Falwell's Liberty Bible Commentary)

As I write this, it came to me that I can put my name in place of Paul's: "O wretched Linda, that I am! Who shall deliver me? Linda, in you dwelleth no good thing." Jesus Christ is the only answer.


Strive to obey God's laws, even though I sin. Thank the Lord for His forgiveness, grace and mercy.
Keep loving Jesus.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Whose Slave am I?

Romans 6
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? O course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?
Romans 6:1-2 NLT


Even though I am a free American, I can still be enslaved. What can enslave me? A job, materialism, people, attitudes, feelings, thoughts, habits can enslave me. The question is,"Do I want to continue to be enslaved?"
No, I want to be free from the wages of sin.
An example of this is when I used to drink Dr. Pepper three or four times a day, using it as a comfort food helping me relax. I was enslaved to it. I thought I needed it in order to relax, but in fact I didn't. The result, or wages of my sin,  was hurting my colon (Crohn's Disease). It's been 11 months since I drank a Dr. Pepper and I enjoy the benefits with the Lord's help.(Even though I'm free from it, mentally I still want one.)
* This is not meant to make you feel guilty for drinking sodas. You may not be effected by it.

According to verse 3-4, I died (old self), was buried, and raised up with Christ and should walk in newness of life. Although the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (verse 23) I'm going to enjoy my gift now and in heaven, since my eternal spiritual life  began at my spiritual birth.

Charles Swindoll says that when I disobey the Lord, I don't loose my salvatioin, but I sever my fellowship with Him. The loss is joy, peace, blessings, spiritual growth, and clear conscience. I can avoid this loss by choosing to obey God and rebuking Satan, self, and my sin-nature.


Romans 6:13 KJV states,"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."

Here's NLT version of verses 12-14: "Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God's grace."

Swindoll tells us to "start living in a manner that manifests your right standing before God. Be Christlike in what you think, say, and do. Righteous living is not an option for a Christian. It is an obligation, mandatory for every child of God. Now that we are free to live righteously, we must allow the Holy Spirit to produce in us a holy, sanctified life (1 John 3:7)."

That's a tall grain of mustard to hoe.
I'm living under grace, but it  doesn't give me a license to plan and commit sins. I'm learning God's way of doing things.
My will dies and God's will lives in me. I must allow the Holy Spirit to direct me.
I have to bury my old self and stop letting her rise up to sin. Now that's a new concept for me to apply.


Don't be a slave to sin, but a slave to righteousness.

Enjoy my eternal life now.

Be Christlike in what I think, say, and do.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Keep on Keepin' On

Romans 5
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Romans 5:1-5 KJV


I know we all experience those down times in our life. Many people have it during the last month of the year, the Christmas season. I find it at other times, though it maybe just around the corner. So we got to "keep on keepin' on"; looking up; staying focused on Jesus; singing His praises throughout the day; well, you get the idea. (I couldn't stop at verse 1, so there's all 5 verses in case you don't have the Word with you. smile

Charles Swindoll shows us three benefits in the key verses:
1. Peace-A justified sinner is no longer under God's wrath, but is at peace with his Creator.
2. Grace-Those who have become children of God are ushered into a brand new relationship with
               Him and  a  whole new life of liberty.
3. Joy-It's the theme of joy, or exultation, that brings us to the observation of three levels of rejoicing.
(from Coming to Terms with Sin)

Wait a minute, where did Brother Chuck find the word "joy?"  It's not in verses 1-5.  I had to search; it's in verse 11.


As I was reading this chapter ahead of time, I stopped and took a break. Then I  read what the day's reading for my ladies' Bible study class was. We're in Jennifer Rothschild's book Walking By Faith, Lessons Learned in the Dark.
Today's title is Delight in the Discipline That Strengthens. Here's some main points:
"God allows suffering to discipline us; our choice is whether to discipline ourselves to respond with rejoicing.
(Hebrews 12:10-11 is quoted.) Both forms of discipline will strengthen us. I'm not convinced that suffering alone creates strength. It's our response to suffering that does that. We can rejoice even in suffering because of the harvest of peace and righteousness we will certainly enjoy when the training is complete. James 1:3, NCV, says,'You know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.' In Greek, patience refers to the perseverance that actively overcomes the trials of life. Perseverance results when we rejoice in suffering. (Romans 5:3-5 is quoted.)"

Comparing KJV and NIV helps:
King James says:                                        New International Version says:
tribulation produces patience,                      suffering produces perseverance,
patience produces experience,                     perseverance produces character,
experience produces hope.                          character produces hope.

Lord, You don't have to hit me over the head with a 2x4. (I take notice and perk up my ears whenever the same Scriptures come to me in the same day.) "What are You saying to me, Lord?" I ask.

Jennifer said to rejoice in suffering? Brother Chuck said to show joy in tribulation? How is this possible?

Jennifer said,"Choose to rejoice in spite of difficulty-suffering strengthens faith, joy showcases God's power, and mourning ministers to others."
(So we don't do it on our own; it's God's power, Holy Spirit,  in us. If we are already having joy, rejoicing daily, then it is to continue through our times of suffering/tribulation. Now I understand.)

Brother Chuck says there are three levels of rejoicing:
1. Rejoicing in Hope (verse 2b) God is committed to His Christians' development. Our hope is to one
    day be  like Him in every respect.
2. Rejoicing in Tribulation (verses 3-10) It doesn't say we are to have joy because of our sufferings and
    struggles, but rather that we should be joyful as we go through them.
3. Rejoicing in God (verse 11) As a result of our salvation, we worship and adore our God.


Continue in hope and joy.

Allow God to work in me through trials, tribulation, and suffering. Don't resisit.

Share His love by sharing with others how God worked in my life.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reckon So

Romans 4
For what saith the scriptures? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.  Romans 4:3  (reference Gen. 15:6)


I remember hearing the the phrase "I reckon so" when I was growing up. Though I didn't question it as someone's answer of agreement, I reckon it was time to look up the definition.

The word reckoned means expect, believe, suppose, have faith or confidence in, to credit something to someone's financial account.

Paul uses the term reckoned three times in chapter 4-verses 4, 9, and 10. It seemed to be important.

In his book, Coming to Terms with Sin, Charles Swindoll had this to say:
When God promised Abraham that He would greatly multiply his descendants, Abraham believed that God would do what He had said. At that moment, God transferred righteousness to Abraham's account. His faith in the Lord brought him everlasting life. (Gen.15:1-6)

God had promised Abraham that his seed would be as many as the stars (Gen.15:5) and he'd be a father of many nations (Gen 17:5). Looking back, as we have that privilege, we know it all happened.
Now, Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old when Isaac, their son of promise, was born.
That was a miracle that only God could perform. Abrahams's faith became sight.
The couple waited 14 years to see this promise (Isaac) fulfilled. Do I have that kind of patience and growing faith? How long am I willing to wait for a promise to be fulfilled in my life?
Do we stop praying for a specific thing if the answer doesn't come in a week? Oh, boy!

David Guzik's Commentaries on the Bible said, "Promises given to Abraham extended to his descendants. We're justified by faith, thus Abraham's spiritual descendants. God's promise to Abraham was based on the principle of faith, not law or works. (verses 13-15)"

As a Gentile, I am glad to declare Abraham as my Father in the Faith. Aren't you?


Charles Spurgeon said," We can only receive salvation by the principle of grace through faith. All true believers, like Abraham obey. Obedience is faith in action. You are to walk in the steps of the faith of father Abraham. His faith did not sit still, it took steps; and you must take these steps also by obeying God because you believe him. That faith which has no works with it is a dead faith and will justify no one. "

And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. (verse 12)

How did Abraham walk?
1. in belief-verses 3, 17
2. in obedience-verse 11 (He was circumcised 14 years after God declared him righteous.)
3. didn't trust in his flesh-verse 19
4. strong in faith-verse 20
5. giving glory to God-verse 20
6. fully persuaded God was able to perform what He promised-verse 21.

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Romans 4:20-22

Paul used the word imput/imputed six times in this chapter(verses 6, 8, 11, 22, 23, and 24). You know I had to look it up.
Impute means to attribute, to charge, according to Webster.

Thank you Lord for imputing grace and righteousness to my account through faith in Jesus.

Charles Swindoll says, "Ultimately, all test of faith concern the same thing-one's view of God. Abraham was convinced that the Lord was absolutely trustworthy and able to deliver on His promise. How big is your God? Can He handle your circumstances, burdens, and trials? Let your faith rest in the God of unlimited power and love. A divine delay should strengthen our conviction that God will do what He has promised."


Thank you Lord that my salvation is through faith in Jesus, not the law nor my works.

Believe stronger in God's promises.

Put my faith into action. Walk by faith.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Redeeming Stamps

"Redeeming Stamps"

Romans 3
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:24


I remember redeeming Green Stamps. Do you? (I know, it tells my age.) For you younger folks, let me explain.  Particular stores would give stamps to you when a purchase was made. As I recall, a particular amount of purchase meant a particular number of stamps received. It was an advertising gimmic. We took them home, licked and placed them in a special booklet. When enough Green Stamp booklets were filled, I then took it to the Green Stamp redeeming store and exchanged for a particular item. (I think I got baby items.)
Jesus redeemed us by paying the price for our sins, purchasing our soul which deserved hell.

Charles Swindoll says in his book, Coming to Terms with Sin:
It's a gift of grace. The English translation says 'justified as a gift" while the original Greek text literally reads "justified without a cause" or "without a payment." In other words, there is nothing in us or anything we can do that would make us deserving of being saved. God declares us righteous when we have nothing but the sewage of sin to offer Him. Why is He so good to us? Simply because He loves us. Just because He chose to.
The word redemption  means "to purchase release by the payment of a price." It was often used to refer to the Roman slave market where the slave was bought by the highest bidder. Our Heavenly Father entered the slave market of sin to purchase our freedom with His Son's own blood. Because of His act of unmerited grace, we can be set free from sin and enter into His service. All we need to do is accept the price He paid by trusting in Jesus Christ.

Where would I be if Jesus had not redeemed my soul? Where would I be heading? We know without asking, don't we?


Paul is quoting Psalm 14:1 when he says in verses 10 and 12 "There is none righteous, no, not one" and "There is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Then in verse 23 Paul says,"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Now that we've read how lower than snakes sinners we are, may I say there is hope. The only solution to my sin and your sin is Jesus Christ. Like Swindoll, it does give me a greater appreciation for God's amazing grace.

Paul sure did tell it straight, without any sugar coating, didn't he? I wonder how the religious Jews reacted.
These are Scriptures we can use to help the lost realize their need for Jesus. Mine are highlighted in pink in my Bible. They are also good to remind me how blessed I am to have Jesus.


Thank You Lord Jesus for my pardon of sin, which is free to me, but not to You.

Thank You for Your mercy, forgiveness, grace, love.

Help me to pass on this free gift.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Change of Heart

Romans 2
A true Jew is one whose heart is right with God. And true circumcision is not merely obeying the letter of the law, rather, it is a change of heart produced by God's Spirit. And a person with a changed heart seeks (receives)  praise from God, not from people.
Romans 2:29


The Jews were proud of being born a Jew, God's chosen people and having God's laws and their ceremonies. He is quite blunt, telling them that they say one thing and do another. Paul describes a "true" Jew as a person whose heart is right with God. This heart is a "changed" heart, which is produced by God's Spirit. Do I have a changed heart, one that is right with God? I see this as a daily thing because I sin daily. I need His forgiveness and cleansing all the time and not just on Sundays. Are you in the same boat with me?


In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Romans 2:16
For there is no respect of persons with God.  Romans 2:11
(God) Who will render to every man according to his deeds. Romans 2:6

Oooh, I say,"Lord have mercy on me a sinner."

The following is taken from Charles Swindoll's book Coming to Terms with Sin:
What is the deadlinest sin? It's the sin of self-righteousness. It goes under other names, like arrogance, hypocrisy, conceit, and pride. Jesus told us, "Do not judge lest you be judged." (Matt. 7:1-5) The Greek term for judge means "to pass unfavorable criticism about someone to someone else." It conveys the idea of making a rash, unfair, and inappropriate judgment on a person without knowing or caring about the facts, unjust criticism.

I have to stop and confess. Yesterday, while in a grocery store, there was an obese woman riding on a motorized  shopping buggy. I thought to myself,"Why is she so fat? Why doesn't she do something about her condition?" Now I see how I judged the woman-unfairly without knowing the facts (maybe she had a physical problem or disease), rash and unfavorably criticizing. Actually, what I was doing was comparing her fatness to my not so fatness. Of course, I came out looking better. This was sin and I confessed it to the Lord. I plan to do better next time, pray for the person instead of criticizing.

Jesus tells us to stop judging others; get the log, plank, beam, sticking out of our own eye before jumping all over another who has tiny slivers, specks in theirs. (Matt. 7)

Paul begins by specifying two characteristic acts of the self-righteous:
1. they pass judgment on others
2. they commit the same sins that they condemn others for doing.

Why do we act that way? It's due to stubbornness, an unrepentant heart, selfish ambition, or disobedience toward the truth. The unsaved person will experience the wrath of God, while the saved person will experience God's discipline.

What do we do? Swindoll says there are two responses:  I will treat others as they treat me or I will accept others regardless of how they treat me. Luke 6:31, 35-37 tells us to love our enemies, do good, be merciful, don't judge nor condemn, pardon.

What else can be said? These were Jesus' words.


Recognize what types of things cause me to be most judgmental.

Be more accepting of others.

Use Scriptures to help me.

Mostly, stop judging others and look inwardly.

Ask God to change my heart.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Romans 1
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it it written, The just shall live by faith.  Romans 1:17

Introduction to the Epistle to the Romans

Paul, the author of this Epistle, dictated to his secretary named Tertius, the contents of Romans, while on his third missionary journey in Corinth in 57 A.D.

Paul had never been to Rome when he wrote this letter to the saints, believers. (1:7) My conclusion after research, is that the Jews from Rome were in Jerusalem in A.D. 33 at the birth of the church
(Day of Pentecost) according to Acts 2:10. They carried back a report of the events, new faith, and Peter's preaching. A nucleus of Christians could have formed this church in Rome.

This Epistle turned many leaders of our Christian faith to faith in Jesus as Savior when they read or heard Romans-Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wesley.

The theme is stated in 1:17,"The just (righteous) shall live by faith."
The epistle may be divided into two main sections: Part 1-Doctrinal (chapters 1-11) and Part 2-Practical (chapters 12-16).
The main theme in part 1 is the plan of salvation-justification by faith and sanctification through the Holy Spirit.
The main theme in part 2 is mainly exhortations concerning Christian duties, civic and social.
Both were written to inform the judgement and reform the life.
(References: Matthew Henry's Commentary, Nelson's Illustrated Bible Handbook, Liberty Bible Commentary)


While visiting our grandchildren (ages 2-7) last week, we took them shopping, letting them pick out their Christmas gifts from us. We spent hours walking in the toy store, well maybe not hours, but it seemed like it from our perspective. Each of the four children was given the same amount to spend. With their mother's help, the choices were made. I enjoyed watching each child excitedly wondering the isles, looking intensely at the items within the price range. They spent the rest of the week playing with their choices and their sibblings'
choices. It was a blessing to give. In the giving, I received a blessing of joy in return.

Romans 1:11 says, "For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established." (NAS)

In their devotional book, Exericing God Day-By-Day, the Blackabys say:
Your life affects those you have contact with, whether you intend it or not. It may be a positive experience for them or a negative one, but your life will affect others. Paul wanted to leave a spiritual blessing with other believers. He heard of the Christians in Rome, and he longed to go to them to build them up in their faith.
We have opportunities to strengthen our parents, our children, our friends, our coworkers, and our fellow Christians. Only when we are determined to focus on giving a blessing rather than receiving a blessing will we have the quality of ministry to others that God gave to Paul. Do you usually look at others in terms of what they can do for you or in terms of how you can encourage them? Are others strengthened and encouraged in their faith because of their relationship with you?


Paul tells us that he was not ashamed of the gospel. According to Matthew Henry, Paul  could have been, since a man hanged on a tree, professors were mean and despised, the doctrine was plain. Henry states,"I reckon him a Christian indeed that is neither ashamed of the gospel nor a shame to it."

It is God's power which provided salvation for each of us. God requires righteousness in order to stand before Him, but I don't have it on my own. The only way I can be righteous is receive it as a gift from God when I believed in Christ as my Savior. (Christ was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died on the cross in my place, rose from the dead.) It is in Christ's righteousness, holiness, blood, that covers my sins so I can stand before God. Faith in Christ is all we have, which is actually supplied by God.

So I, a just or righteous person only by Christ, am to live by faith.
Hebrews 11:6a says,"Without faith it is impossible to please Him (God).
Am I living by faith in God or am I trusting in myself or other things? That's the bottom line, isn't it?
What is faith? To me, it is believing, not seeing. (Heb.11:1) 
Webster's Dictionary defines faith as believing without proof, especially in God; confidence; reliance.


As I go about my day, I shall  encourage others in their faith.
Share what blessings God has given me.
Don't be ashamed of the gospel, share it.
Thank the Lord for faith which  He gives to me, then live by faith, not by sight.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Grandma Thing

Doing the Grandma thing in Rhode Island.  Be back next week to start Romans.