Mutual Encouragement


For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you ~ that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.  Romans 1:11-12

I have found that mutual encouragement is a rare thing.  Encouragement alone is hard enough to find, but it does usually exist in one-sided relationships.  One person is spiritually strong; the other weak.  The strong one gives of himself, speaks words of faith, and the weaker one takes it in like a thirsty sponge.  The weak person has little to give in return except gratitude. Continue reading “Mutual Encouragement”

Prayers For Strangers


For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers…  Romans 1:9

            Something amazing happens when we pour ourselves out daily at the feet of Christ.  We press our heart to the surface, offer it to Him without any reservations, and ask Jesus to live large in us.  At that point, His Spirit rises up strong in our spirits and we are in touch with His thoughts and affections.  What He loves, we love.  There is no other explanation for the complete reformation of our heart’s desires. Continue reading “Prayers For Strangers”

Religious Reputations


First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.  Romans 1:8

            Rome was the center of the world in New Testament times.  Whatever happened there became known.  The happenings inside Rome were the daily newspaper the world read. 

            The Christians were known for their faith because they were visible, authentic, and active.  Paul was thankful for their reputation which tells me that their faith was the real thing, rooted in Jesus Christ. 

            Religious reputations of many kinds abound, even in so-called Christianity.  Our world today is a fish bowl because of current technology.  Continue reading “Religious Reputations”

How A Church Got Started


To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.  Romans 1:7

            Have you ever been on a life changing trip?  Perhaps it was a mission trip and what you saw and experienced changed you to the core.  You returned back home with pictures and stories and couldn’t wait to share your experiences with others.  Your undying passion was evidence of the cataclysmic events that occurred while you spent time away.  Continue reading “How A Church Got Started”

Faith And Its Outcome


..Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith.  Romans 1:5

Obedience is a word that makes the natural heart twist.  Just hearing it makes any man or woman long for another subject matter more pleasant.  I think that most of us believe that the faith that led to our salvation was one thing and the faith of obedience is yet another.  One got us in the kingdom but the other is some rigorous, complicated lifestyle which no one wants to really think about. Continue reading “Faith And Its Outcome”

A Savior Or A King?


..And Œwas declared to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 1:3-4

Jesus had always been God and He had always been powerful.  But when He came as a babe, flesh veiled that power.  It wasn’t until the resurrection that the earth was reminded again of the power of the One who had lived for three decades and then died a criminal’s death on a cross. Through the empty tomb, the ‘Son of God in power’ was again on full display. Continue reading “A Savior Or A King?”

Set Apart For Something Different


Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God.  Romans 1:1

Before Paul met Christ on the road to Damascus, he was a Pharisee.  He knew what it was to be ‘set apart’ for that is the very meaning of the word Pharisee. (A separated one)  He was set apart to the Pharisaic traditions.  Pharisees crossed the street rather than get near to someone they considered vile and a great sinner.  The list of things they abstained from was long.  Continue reading “Set Apart For Something Different”