Archives For Romans

Are you available to be used by God? Before you answer, understand when God looks for an available person, He is looking for 100% availability.  Being half-committed isn’t committed at all. God is constantly seeking those who have left everything behind, taken up their cross, and declared their availability for the sake of the Kingdom.

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It’s easy to say we’re available for His service. It’s much harder to actually live an available life. A disciple of Jesus is available for anything at any time. Disciples don’t weigh the cost or try to see all the angles before answering the call. They simply proclaim their availability, and move the moment they are called.

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Jesus is love. For many of us, this goes without saying. But do we really know what it means? Recently I was reading the famous “love” passage in I Corinthians 13, and it struck me I was reading about Jesus. For years, I’ve read this passage through the lens of how to better love my wife and others. As I read this time, it suddenly occurred to me this was more than a description of what love looks like in action. It was a description of Jesus Himself.

Jesus is love,love,discipleship,humility,mission,I Corinthians 13,love chapter,Romans 8:3-39,nothing can separate us,no angels no demons,Disciple,Hebrews 13:8,Jesus is the same yesterday today and tomorrow

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As the embodiment of love, I Corinthians offers us a perfect description of who Jesus is. I’m confident I’m not the first to have this revelation, but even if you’ve heard this before, take a moment to re-read the passage, substituting the word, “Jesus” every time you see the word, “love”.

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Devoted followers of Christ hate when they sin. It’s maddening. We don’t understand why we continue to do things we know are not honoring to God (Romans 7:15). If you’re like me, you may have often pondered why we sin in the first place. It seems logical our love and devotion to God would keep us close to Him and far away from sin. It would be that simple if we did not have an enemy who was constantly seeking to trip us up and eventually destroy us (1 Peter 5:8).

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While we can’t blame Satan for our failures, we can blame him for planting the seeds of those failures. Ultimately though, the reason why we sin is because we choose to take our eyes off Jesus.

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If you ever have a conversation with me, it won’t take long to realize I’m ready to start eternity with Jesus right now. I was ready last year.  In fact, I think I’ve been ready for a few decades now. This world holds no allure for me. Before you get the wrong impression of me being someone who has it all together and never struggles with selfishness or pride, let me assure you nothing would be further from the truth.

distractions,discipline,God's will,purpose,priorities,apostle Paul,Matthew 6:21,Romans 7:15,where your treasure is,the very things i hate I end up doing

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I more want to make the point even someone like myself – who has no use for the things of this world – is no less prone to its distractions. I really hate that about myself. Perhaps you can relate.

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What does it mean to love God? The question may seem too obvious or simple to people who consider themselves to be Christians. Of course we love God; it’s the entire point of being a Christian, right? While that’s true, I’ve observed many who simply pay lip service to the notion of loving God. What does it mean to love God and what does it look like as we live it out in our day to day lives?

love God,humility,selfishness,pride,commitment,love,Romans 1:1,Luke 15:11-24,prodigal son

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To love God means we have no other desire for our lives than to do His will. We no longer have any desire outside of Him. It can sound a bit over the top or impossible to achieve, but if our lives are truly devoted to Him, this is what it means to love God.

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You cannot separate having Jesus as your Savior and living your life in obedience to Him. Christ cannot be your Savior if He is not your Lord. Yet there is very prevalent teaching out there insisting the only thing required of you is to pray a simple prayer and Jesus will then be your Savior. Not only is this a dangerous teaching, it is altogether unbiblical.

Lord and Savior,Jesus is Lord,disciple,discipleship,following Jesus,Romans 10:9,(John 14:23-24,Matthew 6:24,Matthew 12:30,Matthew 7:22-23,Matthew 8:18-22,Matthew 19:16-22,Ephesians 2:8-9,Luke 10:25-28,(John 14:15

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The Bible says we must first make Him our Lord, and then we will be saved (Romans 10:9). It doesn’t say we can be saved and then perhaps make Him Lord of our life. Acknowledging His Lordship comes first and must be present if we are to experience His incredible gift of salvation.

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I was listening to a sermon by a pastor recently and heard him say, “I have no use for your religion when you claim to love a God you can’t see but hate your brothers and sisters who you can see.” It’s why religion disgusted Jesus as well. Religion of any flavor inevitably devolves into saying one thing with our lips but ignoring those same platitudes in our own lives.

loving others,love,Luke 10:27,Romans 8:35-39,serving others,invisible God,nothing can separate us from the love of God

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Religion defines a set of rules no one can ever keep. We will never be able to effectively share the truth with others as long as we insist they adhere to a set of rules Jesus never laid down.
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In a recent post (see “When All is Said and Done”) I discussed how it is vital that we live our lives with an eye toward retelling our story to Jesus. This is an important concept to grasp, because each of us will one day have to give an account of our lives to Him (Romans 14:10-12).

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With that in mind, I wanted to look at practical ways we can live to ensure we have a pleasing story to tell. This isn’t a list of “do’s and don’ts”, but rather a motivation that must invade every aspect of our lives. That motivation is love.
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When all is said and done, all that matters is what you have done with Jesus. Your big house won’t matter. Your car won’t matter. How much you’ve accomplished in life will not matter. Almost all of the things with which we concern ourselves are temporary, fleeting, and useless.

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Our daily pursuits – outside of what we do for Jesus – are as futile as chasing after the wind (Ecclesiastes 2:11). It’s a sobering exercise to take inventory of one’s life and discover how much of it we live for ourselves, and how little time is spent on things that actually matter.
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why do bad things happen to good people,sin,freewell,free will, open theism,open theist,evil,adam and eve,garden of eden,Romans 8:20-23image © phoenix021 – Fotolia

We’ve discussed similar topics on this site before, but it seems that every couple of months I start hearing this question repeated over and over again. Perhaps the evil that occurs so frequently in our world prompts the question. Perhaps it comes from years of being given no or unsatisfactory answers to the question. Regardless of the reason, I am repeatedly frustrated and amazed that so many otherwise learned and respected Theologians and Pastors continue to struggle and give out such bad teaching when it comes to the question of why bad things happen to good people.

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