Mike&Sarah

Tag Archive: Romans

Sticky, part 4

Sigh.. more from Romans (my current “happy place”).  Excerpts from Romans 9 (The Message):

“I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.  In the place where they yelled out, “You’re nobody!” they’re calling you “God’s living children.”…

…”If each grain of sand on the seashore were numbered and the sum labeled ‘chosen of God,’ They’d be numbers still, not names; salvation comes by personal selection.  God doesn’t count us; he calls us by name.  Arithmetic is not his focus.”

I love this!

Sticky, part 3

More from Romans 8 (The Message):

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning.  He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.  The Son stands first in the line of  humanity he restored.  We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him.  After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name.  After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself.  An then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the ed, gloriously completing what he had begun.

I love the part about God calling people by name (emphasis MINE).  Another part of Romans talks about how God calls us by name, and that we aren’t just a number to God.  (I’m sure I’ll quote that another day!)  Personal, intimate, real.  Luke 12.7 tells us that God has numbered the hairs on our heads – He knows us that well!  I love it.

Sticky, part 2

Some sticky words from Romans 8 (The Message):

With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved.  Those who enter into Christ’s being-there-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.  A new power is in operation.  The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death….

…Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.  Focusing  on the self is the opposite of focusing on God.  Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God.  That person ignores who God is and what he is doing.  And God isn’t pleased at being ignored….

…So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent.  There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all.  The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on this your new life.  God’s Spirit beckons.  There are things to do and places to go!

This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life.  It’s adventurously expectant, greating God with a child-like “What’s next Papa?” ….

I’m cheering as I read these words!  And sometimes I get goose-bumps!  Hooray!  Amen!

Sticky

So… what’s “sticking” to me as I read and reread Romans?  Here’s something “sticky” from Romans 1.18-23, 28-32:

But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth.  But the basic reality of God is plain enough.  Open your eyes and there it is!  By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see:  eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.  So nobody has a good excuse.  What happened was this:  People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives.  They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life.  They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand….

Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bother them and let them run loose.  And then all hell broke loose:  rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing.  They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating.  Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers.  Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags!  They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives.  They ditch their parents when they get in the way.  Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded.  And it’s not as if they don’t know better.  They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face.  And they don’t care – worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!

Yup.  Seems like an accurate description of  our world today.  Of our popular media.  And this was written more than 2000 years ago.  Guess nothing is really all that new under the sun.

Romans Update

Romans is one of my favorite books of the Bible.  It’s full of theology AND practical application, so it’s rather dense and meaty to get through.  But I love the word choice, the rhythm, and the exhortations.  I’ve been reading Romans for almost two weeks now, and though I don’t get through the whole book each day, overall, I’m reading longer chunks of the Bible than I normally do.

I carry around a copy of Romans from The Message, which my sister printed from BibleGateway.com for me.  I usually read from the New International Version or the English Standard Version, so using The Message puts a fresh spin on the words.  While I prefer to sit down and read it in one long sitting, I’ll keep it in my bag to read when I’m waiting for someone, or at a coffee shop, while sitting outside, or riding in the car.  Whenever I have a few minutes, I read a few paragraphs or pages.

Each day something different “sticks” to me from my reading in Romans.  A lot of it has been from Chapters 1, 8 and 9.