Receive + Communion with God
Read Romans 8:31-39
What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 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.
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? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
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. 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.
Spend some time in prayer giving God glory, honor, and thanks.
Relate + Community with others
What stuck with you from Sunday’s teaching? Why?
Reflect on the Richard Rohr observation: "“There are two ways to be a prophet. One is to tell the enslaved that they can be free. It is the difficult path of Moses. The second is to tell those who think they are free that they are in fact enslaved. This is the even more difficult path of Jesus.”
The Greek word allelon means one-another. Did you know that our relationship with others is such a emphasis in the Scriptures? What do you make of this? (See Romans 1:12; 12:5; 12:10; 12:16; 13:8; 14:13; 14:19; 15:5; 15:7; 15:14; 16:6)
Do you agree with the statement, “Following Jesus without belonging to a community of Jesus is called not following Jesus.”?
Paul intended our ‘one-another-ness’ to be practiced in real ways. Consider Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” How do you see people using their gifts for others in the church? What are some ways you would like to explore your gifts or grow in using them?
Read Romans 7:14
This is Paul’s lament of how sin and death keeps us from right relationships with God, others, ourselves, and the world. How does sin work against allelon?
Paul ends Romans with a warning and a blessing. Read Romans 16:17-18 - One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.
All of our praise rises to the One who is strong enough to make you strong, exactly as preached in Jesus Christ, precisely as revealed in the mystery kept secret for so long but now an open book through the prophetic Scriptures. All the nations of the world can now know the truth and be brought into obedient belief, carrying out the orders of God, who got all this started, down to the very last letter. All our praise is focused through Jesus on this incomparably wise God! Yes!
What are the things from this series that have stayed with you? What got your attention?
What do you want to explore more? What action do you need to take?
Respond + Commission to action
Read Romans. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1&version=NIV
Download the YouVersion Bible App if you have a smartphone. Read Romans, or have the App read it to you!
Explore how God has gifted you to serve his plan to create a new community around Jesus.
What do you love to do? What are you good at? What are you able to endure?
What unique contributions can you make to building up the community?