Friday, August 17, 2018


Romans 8

1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature.

 So God did what the law could not do. 

He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. 

And in that body God declared an end to sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, 

who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

  5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, 

but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.

6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. 

But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.

7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. 

It never did obey God's laws, 

and it never will.

8 That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

  9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. 

You are controlled by the Spirit 

if you have the Spirit of God living in you. 

(And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)

10 And Christ lives within you, 

so even though your body will die because of sin, 

the Spirit gives you life 

because you have been made right with God.

11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. 

And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, 

he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

  12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.

13 For if you live by its dictates, 

you will die. 

But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, 

you will live.

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

  15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. 

Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. 

Now we call him, "Abba, Father."

16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children.

17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. 

In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. 

But if we are to share his glory, 

we must also share his suffering.

18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.

20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. 

But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

23 And we believers also groan, 

even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, 

for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. 

We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, 

including the new bodies he has promised us.

24 We were given this hope when we were saved. 

(If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it.

25 But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, 

we must wait patiently and confidently.)

  26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. 

For example, we don't know what God wants us to pray for. 

But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, 

for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will.

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

29 For God knew his people in advance, 

and he chose them to become like his Son, 

so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

30 And having chosen them, 

he called them to come to him. 

And having called them, 

he gave them right standing with himself. 

And having given them right standing, 

he gave them his glory.

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? 

If God is for us, 

who can ever be against us?

32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, 

won't he also give us everything else?

33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? 

No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself.

34 Who then will condemn us? 

No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, 

and he is sitting in the place of honor at God's right hand, 

pleading for us.

  35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ's love? 

Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, 

or are persecuted, 

or hungry, 

or destitute, 

or in danger, 

or threatened with death?

36 (As the Scriptures say, "For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.")

37 No, 

despite all these things, 

overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, 

who loved us.

  38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love.

 Neither death nor life, 

neither angels nor demons, 

neither our fears for today 

nor our worries about tomorrow;

not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love.

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below;

indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Paul has been reading my journal again...

The older I get, the more aware I am at how sinful I really am...

Romans 7

14 So the trouble is not with the law, 

for it is spiritual and good. 

The trouble is with me, 

for I am all too human, 

a slave to sin.

15 I don't really understand myself, 

for I want to do what is right, 

but I don't do it. 

Instead, I do what I hate.

16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, 

this shows that I agree that the law is good.

17 So I am not the one doing wrong; 

it is sin living in me that does it.

  18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, 

that is, in my sinful nature. 

I want to do what is right, 

but I can't.

19 I want to do what is good, 

but I don't. 

I don't want to do what is wrong, 

but I do it anyway.

20 But if I do what I don't want to do, 

I am not really the one doing wrong; 

it is sin living in me that does it.

  21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.

22 I love God's law with all my heart.

23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. 

This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.

24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! 

Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?

25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

So you see how it is: 

In my mind I really want to obey God's law, 

but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

boiled down

Mark 12

28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. 

He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, 

"Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

  29 Jesus replied, 

"The most important commandment is this: 

'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD.

30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.'

31 The second is equally important: 

'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 

No other commandment is greater than these."

  32 The teacher of religious law replied, 

"Well said, Teacher. 

You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other.

33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, 

and to love my neighbor as myself. 

This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law."

  34 Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, 

"You are not far from the Kingdom of God." 

And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Jesus boiled the whole law, the whole of life, down to basically 4 words:

Love God, love others.


Now, that will tat! 

another BIG statement from Paul

Here's a BIG one from Paul...

Paul write along in his letters to various churches, when all of a sudden, he comes out with a HUGE statement of Jesus, or God, or the Holy Spirit, or whatever, & changes the playing field...

This is from his letter to the followers of Jesus in Rome...

Romans 5

1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, 

we have peace with God 

because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.

2 Because of our faith, 

Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, 

and we confidently 

and joyfully 

look forward to sharing God's glory.

  3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, 

for we know that they help us develop endurance.

4 And endurance develops strength of character, 

and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. 

For we know how dearly God loves us, 

because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

  6 When we were utterly helpless, 

Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, 

though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.

8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

9 And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, 

he will certainly save us from God's condemnation.

10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, 

we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.

11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God 

because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Monday, August 13, 2018

like a child

What with all our intellectual reasoning & theological & doctrinal posturing, 

it would be well if we all remembered Jesus' words from this short passage...

Mark 10

13 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. 

But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.

  14 When Jesus saw what was happening, 

he was angry with his disciples. 

He said to them, 

"Let the children come to me. 

Don't stop them! 

For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.

15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it."

16 Then he took the children in his arms 

and placed his hands on their heads 

and blessed them.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

BIG Pauline statement

Well, so much for "all paths lead to God."

Romans 3

21 But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, 

as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.

22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ

And this is true for everyone who believes, 

no matter who we are.

  23 For everyone has sinned

we all fall short of God's glorious standard.

24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous

He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin

People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life,

shedding his blood. 

This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,

26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. 

God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, 

for he himself is fair and just, 

and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

  27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God?


because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. 

It is based on faith.

28 So we are made right with God through faith 

and not by obeying the law.

  29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? 

Isn't he also the God of the Gentiles? 

Of course he is.

30 There is only one God

and he makes people right with himself only by faith

whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

31 Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? 

Of course not! 

In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

so many...

Mark 8

34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, (Jesus) said, 

"If any of you wants to be my follower, 

you must turn from your selfish ways, 

take up your cross, 

and follow me.

35 If you try to hang on to your life, 

you will lose it. 

But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, 

you will save it.

36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

37 Is anything worth more than your soul?

There are SO MANY people I think about, or hear about, or see in the media, who need to be reminded of all these words of Jesus.