Tag Archives: the book of Romans

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:6-8, NIV)

God’s love for all of us is unconditional — particularly those who have no use for God.

The noted German pastor, Martin Niemoller (1982-1984) said: “It took me a long time to learn that God is not the enemy of my enemies.  He is not even the enemy of His enemies.”  The enemies of Niemoller’s reference were the Nazis.  While he had good reason to hate Hitler and his ilk, Niemoller knew that for Christ’s sake, he had no excuse.

We must take to heart that if God chooses reconciliation with His enemies, we, too, must choose reconciliation with both our enemies, and the enemies of God.

Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians is a pointed reminder of God’s love for all persons; and our obligation to follow our heavenly Father’s example.  – Luther

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“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”  (Romans 12:3, NIV)

It is a regrettable fact of human nature that we inflate our self-worth, and that we devalue the worth of others.  It is particularly regrettable because, most of the time, we get it wrong way ’round.

Having God’s point of view means not only seeing others as God sees them, but seeing ourselves as God sees us: Vices as well as virtues.  Evaluating ourselves with “sober judgment” is a painful exercise, but it is an essential exercise if we have ambitions of being like Jesus.  – Luther

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“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God — this is your true and proper worship.”  (Romans 12:1, NIV)

Today’s scripture reminds us our “true and proper worship” consists of self-sacrifice.  Not a heroic “all-in once for all” sacrifice, but a common “all-in each day” sacrifice for every right, holy, and good thing.

To “offer our bodies” makes our sacrifice personal.  We can put in time without engaging our mind.  We can give our thoughts without giving the hands and feet that make lofty thoughts a reality.  The presentation of our body is to deliver a complete package: Mind as well as muscle.

God is merciful.  Our thanksgiving for His mercy is worship.  Make your worship truly, and completely, personal.  – Luther

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