Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 332 (Tuesday) - Romans 1:16-5:11

Paul starts in Romans with a reality that we all need to know. It is the reality that man is sinful and God is angered by sin. This idea of mans total depravity is the focus of many people but dwelling on it is not helpful in accepting that God has and will forgive us and accept us as righteous, without sin. Other people focus on the grace of God but dwelling on only that is not helpful in knowing that God hates sin and will punish it. It is a balance and an invitation. The truth of the matter is that those that reject God will find their reward but those that trust Him will also find theirs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 331 (Monday) - Acts 27:9-28:31; Romans 1:1-15

I’m excited to start the Book of Romans because it is one of the foundational books of the New Testament to help us understand Christ and his sacrificial work. The Book of Romans is primarily a work of doctrine and can be divided into four sections: righteousness needed, 1:18–3:20; righteousness provided, 3:21–8:39; righteousness vindicated, 9:1–11:36; righteousness practiced, 12:1–15:13. The main theme of this letter is obvious of course—righteousness. Guided by the Holy Spirit, Paul first condemns all men of their sinfulness. He expresses his desire to preach the truth of God’s Word to those in Rome. It was his hope to have assurance they were staying on the right path. He strongly points out that he is not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power by which everyone is saved.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 330 (Sunday) - Acts 23:26-27:8

Paul will finally make it to Rome, just like God had told him. Once Paul gets there, the trail will grow cold. We have no idea, outside of tradition, as to what happened to Paul. Tradition says that Paul was beheaded in Rome, but we have no biblical or historical data to authenticate that claim. The end of Acts seems abrupt. We have followed Paul through all his trial and just before he goes before the council, it ends. Is there another ending or another lost work? Who knows?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 329 (Saturday) - Acts 21:1-23:25

I find it inspiring that Paul is willing to risk everything by going to Jerusalem. I can hear people saying things like, “Don’t go because if you get jailed you will not be able to do more good in other areas or plant more churches.” But Paul has this great faith in God and knows that it is all in God’s hands in the first place. Paul is ready to die if he needs to. I wish I had that kind of faith all the time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 328 (Friday) - Acts 19-20

Paul’s preaching about Jesus in the city of Ephesus was starting to have a major impact on the community, not only on people receiving Christ but on the economy. That’s right, the preaching of Jesus was shutting down the city’s religious tourism and idol buying. The tradesmen were furious and wanted Paul to hit the road because he was affecting their businesses. It’s interesting that the issue wasn’t the loss of a god, but revenue from worshiping that god. I wonder how that correlates with the church today? Do we make decisions based on our worship of God or the revenue it generates?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Day 327 (Thursday) - Acts 16:11-18:28

I love chapter 17! Paul was masterful at engaging people where they were to explain the truth about Christ. I think his tactics would be frowned upon in most churches today, but I believe he hit the nail on the head most of the time. Paul notices all the gods that people worshiped and they had one god for all the stuff they didn’t understand. Paul used that image to explain who that God was. The introduction to God caused many to seek God and many found him. Super Cool!

The picture above is a shrine to an unknown god that was found in Rome. It would have been just like the one Paul was talking about.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 326 (Wednesday) - Acts 14:1-16:10

If you believe that church conflicts are something that the first church never experienced, you’d be dead wrong. There were major disagreements between major players in church leadership and we have one today with Peter and John-Mark. Paul did not want John-Mark to join him and Barnabas but Barnabas felt strongly that John-Mark should join them. Paul felt John-Marl lacked some form of commitment and that was his motivation for exclusion. The disagreement was so strong that Barnabas and John-Mark left Paul and Paul ended up going alone. One is a lonely number!