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Christine's Blog – August 2011 Archive (16)

Time to say Good Bye. Romans 16

Not so quick!  It would be easy to glance at the last chapter of Romans and think, ‘oh, Paul is just greeting a number of folks…we can pass on that.’  There are some great things to note; take a look:

“Before I commend to you our…


Added by Christine on August 26, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Paul’s best-laid plans. Romans 15.23-33

It seems that Paul has always been a man with a plan.  And as we draw to the close of his letter to the Romans, he makes his plans known.  His calling has been to preach the Gospel where it had not been taught and leave the rest to someone else.  He has a plan for the current space in time, and what comes next.  Paul also values the support of fellow believers, enlisting…


Added by Christine on August 25, 2011 at 7:39am — No Comments

The Old Testament … do you love it? Romans 15.1-13

“Oh, I just the love Old Testament!”  I heard one woman exclaim to another—‘especially Deut-, Deut-…how do you say it?’  “Doo-ter-on-o-me,” her friend replied.  “Well, yes, I especially love Deuteronomy—you know the part in the Bible where the people wandered around the desert, and whined, and…


Added by Christine on August 22, 2011 at 7:30am — No Comments

Judgment and Joy—mutually exclusive. Romans 14.19-23

This is a good one—I hope you’ll read it and meditate on it.

Paul closes out Romans 14 by making an appeal to the Roman church to do what it takes to get along with one another. “Make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food… Whatever you believe about these things [food or wine] keep between yourself and God …” (There is no need for you to peddle your convictions about opinions/gray areas to other…


Added by Christine on August 19, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

It’s all about the love. Romans 14.13-18

Come and let me tell you bout a man named Michael.

Michael. I stepped up to the Post Office window and said, ‘do you by any chance have any lavender stamps to match these invitations? See, they are for Bible study, and women really like when things match…’you know what I mean?’

‘Bible study, huh?’ the postal worker said. To which he said, ‘You know, Heaven is a place of wonder, color, and beautiful music …’

‘Uh-huh…I think I need about 120 stamps,’ I said,…


Added by Christine on August 18, 2011 at 9:30am — No Comments

Are you judgmental? The Reality and the Remedy. Romans 14.10-13

Do you often judge other people?                                                                   Are you quick to see what’s wrong in someone else’s…


Added by Christine on August 17, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments

Don’t judge … it may not be what it seems. Romans 14.1-8

We all do it. We size up people, based on what we see, then we make judgments on such, even if not mean-spirited or critical. But things are not always as they appear.

For instance, I know people who have a really hard time with obese individuals—the assumption being that the person has no self control. They find it hard to respect them as a manager or leader . . .but, could it be that there are things totally out of the ‘big’ person’s control that have led to the individual’s own…


Added by Christine on August 16, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

The Jesus Shirt. Romans 13.14

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,  …


Added by Christine on August 12, 2011 at 7:53am — No Comments

The time is here …what if the time is now? Romans 13.11

This life is not all there is . . . one thing is sure—all of us will die.  Folks say there are no guarantees, that one hundred percent of us is going to die, and not on our own terms.  Paul wrote, “It is now time for you to wake up from your sleep, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”…


Added by Christine on August 11, 2011 at 8:44am — No Comments

The Language of Love.

Owe no man anything but to love one anot

her. Romans 13.8

‘But of course I love you . . .’ the mother said to her teen-aged daughter.

‘I’m sure you do, Mom, I just don’t feel it,’ she flipped her hair over her shoulder, and walked out of the room.

‘Wow…how could she not feel my love for her?’ the mother asked herself, troubled. Why, I have loved her since I knew I was carrying her in my womb! And the day I gave birth to her…well, it was the happiest day of…


Added by Christine on August 10, 2011 at 8:00am — No Comments

Love … it’s all about this. Romans 13.8-10

Love … it’s all about this. Romans 13.8-10 Love pays attention. Love notices. Love actually sees. Love holds. Love gives room to others. Love lasts. Love gives when it thinks it has given all it can. Love thinks of others first. Love understands. Love expresses itself. People don’t really think of Paul as an expert on love, but he has had a lot to say about love! After all, before this letter to the church at Rome, he had written the greatest explanation of love to the church at Corinth. ‘Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.’1 To the Romans, he highlighted that ‘God demonstrated his great love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.’2 Then Paul reassured them that absolutely nothing could separate them from the love of God.3 He instructed them to love one another sincerely—wholeheartedly. ‘Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.’4 And then, “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13.8-10, ESV Wake up and pay attention now. Allow me to segue . . . The questioning had gone on all day. ‘What about this? What about that?’ they wrangled, looking for ways to trip him up—ways to catch him in a contradiction. And then the most exacting of experts stepped to the front with a point sure to stymie him . . . ‘So, Rabbi,’ one said mockingly, ‘which is the greatest of the commandments?’ Jesus did not even hesitate. ‘Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And the second is this, love your neighbor as yourself.’5 Hmm… okay, now along comes Paul---Paul who had not stood with the other pious Jews on that day or on any other day listening to Jesus … no, when Jesus walked the streets of Palestine, Paul was not in attendance. Oh, he was in and around Jerusalem, but he was a devout young Jewish man learning at the feet of the most prominent and highly regarded Jewish teacher of the day, Gamaliel, forming his strong theological beliefs that would stand him in direct opposition to Jesus! UNTIL of course, the resurrected Lord stepped into Paul’s path on the road to Damascus, where he had a one-on-one conversion experience. Yes, God always gets his man. But here’s the point I want to make with you—when Paul wrote about love fulfilling the Law, (a kind of review of Jesus’ same teaching), he had not been there that day. You must understand that he also could not just flip back to the Gospels in his Bible to read Jesus’ words. He did not have the gospels to read—nor had he heard Jesus’ teaching on the subject! So, how did he come up with the same equation about love fulfilling the Law ? Only one way. Direct revelation. Jesus revealed it to him himself. How do I know? After Paul’s miraculous conversion, through his encounter with Jesus Christ, when he came to know Jesus as his Messiah (Acts 9), he made it clear, ‘the gospel I preached is not something that man made up, I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.’6 That is why Paul wrote so emphatically “owe no man anything except love”. Paul knew that if we had a debt to repay, honor would command us to repay it—whether it was a loan or a mortgage, whatever. But on love…..that is where the onus is on us. Ha! The owe-ness is on us. Jesus had personally conveyed to Paul that life, for the Christian, is to be all about love. And Paul got it. Boy, did he get it! Christine Todd DiGiacomo 1 1 Corinthians 13 2 Romans 5.8 3 Romans 8.38-39 4 Romans 12.9, 10 5 Mark 12:30-31 6 Galatians 1.11-12


Added by Christine on August 9, 2011 at 6:58am — No Comments

Obey the government….really, always? Romans 13.1-7

What is our responsibility to the government? Paul closed out Romans 12 with a list of the concrete ways we ought to love one another, and promote harmony within the family of God. Now he turns his attention to instruct Christians living under the rule of a secular government.

Paul writes: Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists the authorities…


Added by Christine on August 8, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

Do you want to get along better? Romans 12.9-21

Today I had the opportunity to again read aloud Paul’s mandate for loving well. . . I looked at three different versions of the same passage, and here is yet another.  Before we turn the page, and look at Romans chapter 13, I must ask you—how are you doing with loving well? …


Added by Christine on August 5, 2011 at 7:50am — 1 Comment

All I Really Need to Know I learned in… Romans 12.9-21

Is it possible to live simply in the 21st century?  And would you, if you could?  The whole notion of living simply I find quite appealing, which is why I am sure Robert Fulghum’s poem warms my heart.  ‘All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten…  Share everything.  Play fair.  Don’t hit people.  Put things back where you found them.  Clean up your own mess.  Don’t take things that aren’t yours.  Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.  Wash your hands before you…


Added by Christine on August 3, 2011 at 9:58pm — No Comments

No Christian is an island. Romans 12.4-8

No man is an island entire of itself.1 Certainly, no Christian is an island, entire of himself. Indeed, we are called to be transformed individuals . . . but we are meant to behave as one body, interrelated in Christ.

As the apostle Paul continues to explain Christianity to the church at Rome, he illustrates the interconnectedness of believers:

“Just as our bodies… Continue

Added by Christine on August 2, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments

This will GROW your faith. Romans 12.3

‘Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves,

measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us,’ Paul writes. So, honestly….what have you done with the amount of faith God has given you?

Have you put your trust in God? Because you can never fully ‘know’ someone, all relationships require faith. But with God, we can look at who he is and what he has done . . . and both make him worthy of our trust . . . a person in whom we…

Added by Christine on August 1, 2011 at 7:34am — 3 Comments

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