Supporting Each Other – 5-13-22

“Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God,” Romans 15:14-15 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Romans chapter 15 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Bearing Others’ Burdens

15 We then who are strong ought to bear with the [a]scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to [b]edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the [c]patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Glorify God Together

Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received [d]us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a [e]servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:

“For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,
And sing to Your name.”

10 And again he says:

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”

11 And again:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!”

12 And again, Isaiah says:

“There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

From Jerusalem to Illyricum

14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish [f]one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering [g]of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written:

“To whom He was not announced, they shall see;
And those who have not heard shall understand.”

Plan to Visit Rome

22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, [h]I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to [i]minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing [j]of the gospel of Christ.

30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who [k]do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 15:1 weaknesses
  2. Romans 15:2 building up
  3. Romans 15:4 perseverance
  4. Romans 15:7 NU, M you
  5. Romans 15:8 minister
  6. Romans 15:14 M others
  7. Romans 15:16 Consisting of
  8. Romans 15:24 NU omits I shall come to you and joins Spain with the next sentence.
  9. Romans 15:25 serve
  10. Romans 15:29 NU omits of the gospel
  11. Romans 15:31 are disobedient

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

John 20:31 “but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

For those still doing the Romans 1 challenge and those curious:  It is a challenge to work with God to root out any unrighteousness and then part 2 is to practice good habit with intention. I have shared some of the dust that came to the surface in my life through this – doing a spring cleaning. No matter what stage or how long you have been serving God – if you challenge yourself and God to find an area to work on, you’ll find it. This has been powerful:

PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS:
Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with all/any unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me even though I knew better and I understand the righteous judgment of You, God. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways – convict me strongly when I do wrong that I may notice and stop. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes of bondage and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you. Please reignite the fire in my belly that I may burn for you in boldness. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

HEALTHY ROOTS CHALLENGE: this challenge is to heal and strengthen our roots
One – Give God ALL the Glory
Two – Dedicated time for thanksgiving, and be thankful for all things!
Three – Guard our hearts and mind, rebuking and stopping sinful or not godly thoughts, not letting our minds wander and be prayerful and intentional in thinking.
Four – And finally, let us be humble. Humble enough to say I do not know it all and God has something new to reveal to me in this book and in this day.
(Please review the blog post from 4/25/22 for further explanation as to why we are doing this daily and for the scriptural reference instructing us to make these things a practice in our lives. Until they flow from us naturally, we can intentionally and with all of our hearts, scheduled them into our lives and watch them heal and reroute our unhealthy roots that gave sinful/evil fruits.)

As we are wrapping this up – I might actually miss this powerful time with the Lord. Although it was humbling, it was also faith building and transformative. But it is not like we are walking away from God and we can always come back to these exercises.  I am eager to get into first and second Corinthians and see what other new things the Lord has for us. I feel renewed in my mind and ready for the next season!

Now, let us look at chapter fifteen where Paul begins his conclusion. Let’s review again one of the main reason’s Paul wrote – to prevent divisions when these people had very real differences in customs and lives as well as new believers and ones who have dug in deep.
A look at the sleepy modern church of pre-2020 we might not see much similarity. But when looking at today, where people have woke up and are seeking God we have churches with multiple levels of believers with multiple cultures and there are many divisions. Vax vs unvax. Mask vs unmasked. Open vs. closed. Racial issues, woke and holiness issues, unborn baby issues. Not to mention denominational separations.  Oh AND there are wheat and tares together and God is shaking and separating the wheat and tares. While God separates, we must try to be unified and stop the fleshly divisions (without getting in God’s way for his wheat and tares division).

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I heard a preacher recently describe the shaking of the Lord as we are all standing on a bunch of platforms, a handful or so of us on each one. God shakes them all violently. Some fall off. Others fall, but catch the edge and hang on. Some almost fall. Many fall to their knees to get a lower center of gravity to be able to stay. While still other stand firm, immovable. God may be shaking out the tares off – but we all have an opportunity to hang on to someone and help them stand and stay on the platform. Like we started in chapter one, it will require repentance from the unrepentant once God shakes them down and humbles them. We can all hold hands and draw strength and faith from the ones who are immovable. Together we will not lose anyone from our platform. That is what Paul is talking about – let those stronger in faith encourage, edify, and strengthen the weaker ones.  We do not lose strength by sharing it. But if I glorify God alone it is but one glory – if we join together – God’s glory is multiplied through us!

Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:“For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, And sing to Your name.”
10 And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”
11 And again: “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!”
12 And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”

Paul learned his Hebrew Scriptures form texts translated into the Greek. So when we go to look it up it is difficult to know exactly which verse he was referring to and the quote is not the same as if you go to your Old Testament and look. So to the best of my ability, we can cross reference:
Verse 9 with 2 Sam 22:50, Psalm 18:49 – and structurally this is the 3rd reference to this concept within the book, the others being Rom 3:29 and Rom 11:30.
Verse 10 with Deuteronomy 32:43 and Isaiah 66:10. Many assume it’s the Isaiah verse because verse 12 says Isaiah, but it is more likely the verse in Deuteronomy according to scholars familiar with the version of the Hebrew texts Paul learned from. (I am not familiar enough to make a judgement call.)
Verse 11 with Psalm 117:1.
And verse 12 with Isaiah 11:10. Matthew 12:21 and 1 John 3:3 also refer back to this passage in Isaiah. And Isaiah began the prophecy but it seems to come full circle and is completed in Revelations 5:5 and Revelations 22:16.
All of that presented so you can slip down into a rabbit hole and search out more truths if you want to but in relation to our study here and our application of it, I think we get the point.

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

I really like the wording Paul uses for his prayers for others. This is a simple one sentence prayer that is POWERFUL! I often incorporate scriptures into my prayers, as many of you know who have been reading a while. Someone please pray this for me. I am praying it over everyone who ever ready this post. You all get an extra blessing of Joy and Peace in Believing as I pray in the name of Jesus! I pray you ABOUND! In hope and Faith!!! By the power of the Holy Spirit! Yes, Lord send your power into these people! Let them do great exploits in your name! In the name of Jesus I pray ~ amen

14 Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient— 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, 21 but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; And those who have not heard shall understand.”

Here is a spiritual principle – Paul is not announcing to the people in Rome (to whom he is writing) by whose authority He writes and speaks. Paul is writing to the spirit world and those who do not know who he is who may later read this. You see, this letter has been scrutinized and studied by theologians and regular people just reading their Bible, as well as atheist and satanist for centuries. The battle that rages in the spirit every time we open this book is immense. But one of the ways we overcome is by the word of our testimony, and Paul inserts it as his authority for this book, and the words of the Lord through him for all of time. We also overcome by the blood of Jesus, which Paul was washed with and even explains in this very book, and overcome by loving not our life even to death – and death to the flesh is what we did in this book. Paul leaves sections like this in every letter, however in this letter it is a bit longer. But Paul had more time to write this book and it is the longest of his letters.

22 For this reason I also have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you, 24 whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. 27 It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed to them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain. 29 But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.”

Paul pours out his heart and wishes – it is a beautiful intent. But let’s talk about reality. Paul wrote this book in Corinth on his 3rd missionary journey. When we studied Acts we saw Paul was in a great hurry, compelled by the spirit, to get back to Jerusalem. This passage gives us a vague idea of why – he was delivering an offering to the poor of the church in Jerusalem.
Paul planned to head to Spain next and introduce the gospel and thought he could stop by Rome on the way and visit. Paul never made it to Spain. What is also interesting is many of Paul’s letters are to those churches he helped found and establish. He was a missionary and church planter. But Paul did not establish a church in Rome – it was formed by traveling believers who sought out their own in foreign places and they began the church and they knew of Paul and had sent and asked for him to visit because they were struggling with a few thing. And to the best of our understanding that was why Paul wrote the letter to the Romans.

30 Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”

Has anyone asked for prayer and you say sure. And they give you a specific prayer request and you pray a vague prayer? We have no proof – but it certainly looks like the Romans gave up a vague prayer for Paul, not understanding the depth of the spiritual battle at hand in his life. Paul asked to be delivered from the unbelieving in Judea. Instead Paul was delivered TO them and into the hands of the Romans and from there in bondage as a prisoner on his way to Rome, where he finally got to meet these people from this church. Sometimes we do not know better how to pray than the one asking, and sometimes a quick vague prayer is not enough.

Being people who study the word and desire to draw closer to God – we are praying people. We do not need any special anointing to be effective in prayer. Talk to God about it and ask for His move is really the gist of it. Besides, God loves when we talk (as long as we listen too) and have conversations with Him!  That is kind of the point of it all – a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the son in the Holy Spirit. And when we don’t know what to pray we can pay in the spirit.

Let’s pray for each other – you all do not know each other, but many of you have reached out to me and connected on social media and we have gotten to know each other better. So I know many of you have a heart for prayer. So let’s pray for one another today. In the comments, please leave a prayer request and come back and check for people’s requests so you can pray over them. I know historically only a handful of you “like” and seldom comment – But we all need some prayer, so let’s pray for one another.

My prayer request is for healing. I have caught covid again. The last time was really bad and I lost all my hair and gained a ton of weight because of interactions between covid stuff and an autoimmune disease. So Pray for complete healing of the autoimmune disease and covid along with everything else hidden that we do not know about. I want complete healing! I do not want to do this again. I know the enemy doesn’t want me alive – but Jesus doesn’t want me yet either! So let me be healthy to complete my work for the Lord! Amen?! I know, big ask – but I have big faith and when we add to it your big faith in agreement I shall be healed!
How can we pray for you?

We’ll come back Monday with some praise reports! Meanwhile, enjoy the weekend and the weekend reading from Psalms. Bask in it for some wisdom. And Monday we will finish up the Book of Romans! If you enjoyed this study, feel free to invite your friends and loved ones to join us Tuesday as we begin discussing 1st and 2nd Corinthians (two more powerful books, sure to help us understand our Father and love – we are sure to grow)!

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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