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Bible Pathways - Nov. 22, 2008


November 22

Romans 11

Highlights In Today's Reading:

You don't want to miss reading Chapter 11! As a child of God what is your reasonable service (12:1-2)? One Body many members (12:3-8). Christian love (12:9-21). God sets up governments (13:1-7). God reveals His love to neighbors through His children (13:8-13).

Many believers have consecrated their time, talents, and abilities doing the Lord's work but do not understand why their efforts are so fruitless. Others have forsaken the world but seem unmotivated and useless when an opportunity arises to serve the Lord. They may have gone too far with God to please the world but also have come short of truly pleasing the Lord. They are like Israel, who had faith to leave Egypt but rebelled and refused to enter the promised land on God's terms. Such believers succumb to selective obedience and then an aimless "wilderness experience." I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God (12:1-2).

The "presenting" spoken of is the outcome of offering our self-life to be crucified with Him. But, without passing through death to self-interest we have nothing to present, nor is there anything God can accept, for our Savior and Lord has condemned all that is of the self-life by saying: If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).

The lamb which was presented for a sin sacrifice had to be without blemish or it was unacceptable. The lamb was not considered a sacrifice until it was presented on the altar and then it became a satisfaction to God. Just as the lamb must be slain, so there must come a death to the self-life — the ego must be broken.

There is a spiritual principle that Christ blesses only to the extent we allow ourselves first to be broken. The five loaves and two fishes were broken before they could be used to feed the multitude. It was not until Mary broke the alabaster box that its fragrance filled the house and blessed Christ.

There should come a day in our lives when we consider our whole life as belonging to Him. Then Christ becomes the center of our life. When some of his crowd had left him to follow Jesus, John the Baptist said to those who remained: He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30). We have been bought with a price (and are to) glorify God in your (our) body, and in your (our) spirit, which are God's (I Corinthians 6:20).

Thought for Today:

If we have allowed our possessions to keep us from serving God, we would be better off to sell whatsoever thou hast (Mark 10:21) and follow Jesus.

Word Studies:

11:14 emulation =b> jealousy; 12:9 dissimulation =b> hypocrisy; 13:13 rioting and drunkeness . . . chambering and wantonness =b> unbridled lust, immorality and indecency.

Cross References:

For Romans 11:3: See I Kings 19:10,14. Romans 11:4: See I Kings 19:18. Romans 11:8: See Isaiah 29:10. Romans 11:9-10: See Psalm 69:22-23. Romans 11:26-27: See Isaiah 59:20-21; Jeremiah 31:33. Romans 11:34: See Isaiah 40:13. Romans 11:35: See Job 41:11. Romans 12:19: See Deuteronomy 32:35. Romans 12:20: See Proverbs 25:21-22. Romans 13:9: See Exodus 20:13-17; Leviticus 19:18.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East sponsored by Bob & Dorothy Franklin • Staff: Bernice Rathbone • Government Official: Gov. Bill Owens (CO) • Country: Nigeria (113.8 million) in western Africa • Major languages: English and Hausa • Government permits all types of religious activity • 45% Muslim (largely Sunni); 40% Christian; 9% Indigenous; 6% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His mercy and loving-kindness (Psa. 86:15).

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 5:7

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