Saturday, September 08, 2007


I love movies with treasure maps in the plot; National Treasure, King Solomon’s Mine and others like them. It’s just fun and probably, each of us would secretly love to discover a map that led to a great pile of treasure!

Paul tells the church in Rome where they can find the greatest treasure of all…

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 (NASB)

What is the “it” he talks about? He is referring back to verse 16 and the subject is the “gospel.” The word “gospel” simply means good news or good message, but notice he says that the good news he is talking about results in salvation or deliverance. That’s powerful stuff.

The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel, the good news about Jesus Christ. We can all read about that in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the four “gospels” in the New Testament of the Bible.

It’s an easy map to follow and the treasure at the end is the greatest treasure of all. Now go look at the map and start the journey!


Friday, September 07, 2007


Have you noticed the body language of a person who is ashamed? Often their head is lowered, they won’t look you in the eyes and their shoulders may droop. It’s not a confident look and it isn’t a comfortable feeling.

When someone is ashamed, it is because they believe they have done something wrong or are embarrassed about something. So why, do we often appear to be ashamed when it comes to talking about our faith in Jesus Christ?

Jesus said, If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Mark 8:38 (NLT)

There is nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to acknowledging that the God who created you is your Savior and you trust Him completely! Paul put it like this….

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. 17This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (or, “the righteous will live by faith.”) Romans 1:16 - 17 (NLT)


Thursday, September 06, 2007


If someone does something incredibly nice for you, do you feel obligated to return the favor? It’s not as if you’ll die if you don’t, but you really want to do something for them so they will feel as good as you do.

Read this excerpt from Paul’s letter to the church in Rome to see how Paul felt obligated…

I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. Romans 1:13 - 15 (NASB)

The dictionary (Encarta – online) defines obligation as “Something owed:

something such as assistance or a debt that somebody owes in return for something given.”

So what was it that the church in Rome had given Paul? The answer is nothing. He hadn’t even been there. The obligation that Paul felt was to Jesus Christ. What had Jesus given Paul? Eternal life is the first thing that comes to mind, freedom from being a slave to the law and to sin. The list could go on indefinitely.

Paul felt obligated because of the incredible free gift that Jesus had imparted to him. He wanted to share the good news of Jesus and that free gift with everyone (Greeks, barbarians, wise and foolish, etc.).

Perhaps if we take some time to think about what Jesus has saved us from and the hope that we have to look forward to (i.e.; eternal life with Christ in heaven) we will fulfill our “obligation” to tell others about Him as well.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Obviously, the best kind of a relationship to have with someone would be one that is mutually beneficial to you both. If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, you are always doing something nice for them, and they treat you like an annoyance, it’s not too pleasant. You probably should look elsewhere for a more mutually satisfying companion.

In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul speaks of reciprocation:

that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. Romans 1:12 (NASB)

As believers in Christ, we are to encourage one another; it is to be a mutual relationship. However, if we are not being encouraged by other Christians we cannot simply walk away from them (unless of course they aren’t acting at all like Christ or teaching something different from God’s Word), we can only love them and keep our half of the bargain…to encourage them.

We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 - 15 (NASB)

Just as Christ did, we are to set the example for others, even, and perhaps especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we’re going to approve of competition as our society does, perhaps the best competition would be to try to be the most Christ-like. Of course, that includes humility, self-sacrifice and loving people even when they’re trying to kill you!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Do you know someone who is a true friend, a person who will stick by his or her convictions no matter what? Do you tell other people about them? Do you sometimes boast about being their friend?

Hear Paul’s word to the church in Rome:

For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, Romans 1:9 (NASB)

Obviously that doesn’t mean that they were perfect, but it does mean that Paul loved and cared for these people in the church so much that he constantly brought them before God’s throne.

We are to bring our brothers and sisters in Christ before the Lord in prayer just as Paul did. Pray for each other in the Spirit of the Lord.


Monday, September 03, 2007


Can you spot a phony a “mile away?” Can people tell who you really are at first glance or after talking with you for a while? Have you ever heard of someone having a “good reputation” and yet never met him or her in person?

That’s what Paul is saying about the church in Rome

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8 (NASB)

Can you imagine having such a good reputation that people in other parts of the world would have heard about you? That’s something to strive for anyway, to be respected by others.

Even more important is that they would hear of our faith in Jesus Christ. After all, the way we act isn’t always going to be perfect, but trusting in God for the big and the little things and letting people know that’s what we are doing, will go a long way toward furthering the Kingdom of God. Be obvious about your faith.


Sunday, September 02, 2007


Getting to the point in a conversation or a letter is an art. Often we try to skirt the main issue or work into it slowly, but when it is really important we just get right to it.

When Paul wrote to the Romans about the gospel he was called to preach about, he got right to the point…

2which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, 6among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; Romans 1:2 - 6 (NASB)

Jesus Christ our Lord

  • Descendant of King David
  • Raised from the dead
  • Giver of grace
  • Called us to be His own

Prophecies fulfilled, power displayed and an invitation for us to accept the grace that He offers to us. Praise the Lord for His wonderful plan.



What is your purpose in this life? Is it simply to go to work, make money to buy food, eat and sleep? Or is there a purpose that goes beyond the immediate, as in the life of Paul…

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, Romans 1:1 (NASB)

Paul had a “regular” job as a tentmaker. However, you don’t find him speaking about it very much because it was a means to an end. It provided money to live on so he could continue to fulfill the purpose to which God called him, that of preaching the gospel. His mission in life was to tell others about Jesus Christ the Son of God.