Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 19 April 2022:
Listen to Dr. J. Vernon McGee teach on Leviticus 17: https://www.blueletterbible.org/audio_video/popPlayer.cfm?id=4143&rel=mcgee_j_vernon/Lev
Romans 5:1 — “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Do you feel a peace that transcends all understanding today? Is your peace evident and bewildering to others?
Romans 5:2 — “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Are you rejoicing in your hope today?
Romans 5:3-5 — “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
A person of noble character is developed through adversity. There is no easy path to character. There is no comfort in the growth zone, and there is no growth in the comfort zone. It has also been said that the life of ease will ruin a person. Resolve to be willing to pay the price for character and to trust God through the process — that is faith. Faith trusts God now; hope is faith projected forward, trusting God with your future. As you grow in character (trusting God now), you will grow in hope, trusting God with tomorrow. Are you rejoicing in your sufferings today, knowing that God is using your sufferings to develop you?
Romans 5:6-11 — “While we were still weak… Christ died for the ungodly…. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us…. while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…. we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Are you ready to show the love of Christ to others by giving your life to your weak, sinful, ungodly enemies in pursuit of their reconciliation? The Bible says, “Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…, entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us (2 Cor 5:18-20).” God expects you to bear the burden and suffering of maltreatment in relationships (your cross to bear) in order to reveal the grace of Jesus to others. Yes, it is completely unfair (from an earthly perspective). But aren’t you glad Jesus didn’t deal with you on the basis of fairness? Love is not about fairness or fair exchange – good for good, bad for bad. Love is about grace, mercy, and peace – giving to give, not giving to get. When you are abused for His Name’s sake, while on the mission of reconciliation, you fellowship with Jesus and truly worship Him. This is the type of suffering that builds your Christ-like character. Deny self, take up your cross, and follow Jesus. You will not be disappointed.
Romans 5:14 – …not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
Listen to this outstanding message by Michael Reeves on Christ as the Image of God — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnLWicjZ5aY&t=8s
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 19 April 22: Today, memorize Romans 5:3-5. Say it to yourself whenever you face challenging circumstances or challenging people.