Highlights In Today's Reading:
The Holy Spirit and the Law (8:1-4) and the flesh are compared (8:5-13). Believers are sons and joint-heirs with Christ (8:14-17). Old vs New, Bondage vs Liberty (8:18-22). Holy Spirit our Intercessor (8:26-27). Note 8:28. Israel and God (9:1-13). God's mercy to whom He wills (9:14-24); to Gentiles (9:25-33). Salvation offered to all, no distinction (10:9-10,13). Worldwide outreach (10:14-18).
The victorious Christian life begins the moment we are saved. If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things (to become the person He wants us to become)? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine? . . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us (8:31-32,35,37). When the believer accepts his own powerlessness and submits to the Holy Spirit, then will the likeness of Christ become a reality. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:6).
Some are guilty of grieving the Holy Spirit by seeking His gifts just to perform good deeds. The heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9). Paul wrote to the Corinthians: That ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another (I Corinthians 4:6). A few continue in a selfish, secret sin that they know should not exist and underestimate that God is far more concerned with what we are than with what we do for Him.
The fundamental law of following Christ is revealed in His Word: No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). What or who controls your life? And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). No one has room for both in his life. Let the Spirit of God work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
Live in faith knowing that the care of your spiritual life is in the hands of the Holy Spirit, but He must have your cooperation. Thus, with the loving presence of Christ in you, the living likeness of Christ will be seen through you.
Material ambitions will soon lose their value, so, present your bodies . . . holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1).
Thought for Today:
Without question, the Christian who strives to read and obey God's Word becomes a more effective servant of Jesus Christ.
9:15 compassion =b> grace, mercy, gentleness, loving-kindness; 10:21 gainsaying =b> self-willed, disobedient, faultfinding.
For Romans 8:36: See Psalm 44:22. Romans 9:7: See Genesis 21:12. Romans 9:9: See Genesis 18:10. Romans 9:12: See Genesis 25:23. Romans 9:13: See Malachi 1:2-3. Romans 9:15: See Exodus 33:19. Romans 9:17: See Exodus 9:16. Romans 9:25: See Hosea 2:23. Romans 9:26: See Hosea 1:10. Romans 9:27-28: See Isaiah 10:22-23. Romans 9:29: See Isaiah 1:9. Romans 9:33: See Isaiah 28:16. Romans 10:5: See Leviticus 18:5. Romans 10:6-7: See Deuteronomy 30:12-13. Romans 10:8: See Deuteronomy 30:14. Romans 10:11: See Isaiah 49:23. Romans 10:13: See Joel 2:32. Romans 10:15: See Isaiah 52:7. Romans 10:16: See Isaiah 53:1. Romans 10:18: See Psalm 19:4. Romans 10:19: See Deuteronomy 32:21. Romans 10:20: See Isaiah 65:1. Romans 10:21: See Isaiah 65:2.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy •Staff: Clarence Rathbone • Government Officials: Gov. Phil Bredesen (TN), Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY), Sen. Richard Durbin (IL), and Rep. Chaka Fattah (PA) • Country: Niger (10 million) in west-central Africa • Major languages: French and Hausa • Christian evangelism is limited • 89% Muslim; 10% animist; .4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice in the Lord, for He is forgiving to those who call upon Him (Psa. 86:4-5).
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 5:7