Hearing Bad News

I MUST KNOW THE BAD NEWS TO APPRECIATE THE GOOD

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21

Who feels ecstatic over being forgiven?  The one who knows how deeply he has sinned and offended God.  Who embraces salvation with his whole heart?  The one who despairs of being condemned with no way out.  The person who doesn’t feel any ‘need’ makes a lukewarm Christian. Continue reading “Hearing Bad News”

A Picture Of Abundance

A PICTURE OF ABUNDANCE

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love getting a great deal.  “If you buy one of these, we’ll give you five of that.” It seems too good to be true and we wonder where the catch is but we seem to do it anyway.  God’s provision of the Lamb was truly the picture of abundance.  His offer left mankind staggering.  There were no tricks.  His offer was a picture of gracious abundance. Continue reading “A Picture Of Abundance”

Stuck In Unfairness

STUCK IN UNFAIRNESS

Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. Romans 5:14

Paul doesn’t let up!  For ten verses he hammers this point about me being related to Adam.  I was one with Adam.  I suffered because of Adam’s sins.  I was judged ‘in Adam’.  That doesn’t seem fair.  You mean that I was born under God’s condemnation because an ancient relative sinned?  The answer is yes and it’s easy to get stuck there.  Most do. Continue reading “Stuck In Unfairness”

Spiritual Unions

SPIRITUAL UNIONS

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned… Romans 5:12

A spiritual union, as in who I am united to in spirit, determines what I will believe and even what choices I will make.  To be bound to Christ, to enjoy the flow of His abundant life, is to be like Jesus in how I handle my life, both on the outside and on the inside.

Paul is about to tackle some of the heaviest parts of his teaching and perhaps, because it is difficult, it is often skipped over.  Can we afford to do that?  May God give us each understanding.

On the one hand, I understand the nature of a spiritual union.  My parents wanted me to make friends with good kids because they knew that a bad spiritual union could take me down a destructive path.  Continue reading “Spiritual Unions”

I Have No Joy Because…

I HAVE NO JOY BECAUSE…

We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.  Romans 5:11

Jesus came to show me what God was like.  That He came is a miracle.  That He would leave heaven so I would know His Father is a miracle.  That He would die in order to show me the vastness of His Father’s love is a miracle.  That He would be so radical as to forgive all my sins and never bring them up again is a miracle.  That I would have nothing to feel guilty about is a miracle.  That I could dare go behind the veil and approach God intimately is a miracle.   There are enough grounds here to rejoice all day, every day, no matter how well or poorly my day is going.

Yet, I’ve lived much of my life without joy.  What was the problem? Continue reading “I Have No Joy Because…”

Fear Of God’s Abandonment

FEAR OF GOD’S ABANDONMENT

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  Romans 5:10

Since God pulled out all the stops to make a way for us to become His children, no longer His enemies, and since that ‘way’ was the death of His Son, won’t He now fully invest Himself in us?  If He sent Jesus to the cross for an enemy, how magnificently would He treat a friend?  I can’t even fathom the goodness in His heart toward me.

Whenever I have had to fully invest in a relationship here, I value it all the more.  Becoming a mother and pouring out my life for my children, strengthens the bond we share.  With each passing year, my feelings for them only intensify.  My desire to bless them grows, not diminishes.  So it is with God.

May this not be just theoretical.  Continue reading “Fear Of God’s Abandonment”

Paranoia

PARANOIA

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  Romans 5:9

If you grew up in a family that didn’t express themselves well, you probably experienced other’s disapproval without words.  A tone, even a look, communicated that you had done something wrong but you didn’t know what.  If you dared ask, you might have heard, “Well, you should know. I shouldn’t have to tell you.” That was the end of the matter. Continue reading “Paranoia”