a timely Message from Romans

Reading in Romans (The Message) with the Pearls, I am amazed each morning how timely the words are to my exact day’s predicament. It is already the end of November and I’m not sure what’s on the horizon for next year, but a small group of beautiful women have walked with me in reading the Bible in a year for the second time. I have had a love-hate relationship with the Message translation, but it has shed some light on difficult passages which I can truly store up for the spiritual bank. Understanding is the first step toward application. This morning’s readings were no exception. Here are a couple of the treasures from today:

Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom?” (Romans 11:33) 

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (Romans 12:1-2)

 Totally unique to any religion is Christianity’s tenet to repay evil with good. So brilliant a plan, so Divine…”Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” (Romans 12:21) And how like God to give me an opportunity to practice it (which I just failed miserably!) when I am typing this! Okay, not only ears to hear Lord, but a considerable measure of Your Grace to accomplish this, please…

“You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love.” (Romans 13:10) Lord, when I err, let me err on the side of love. As Christians, we can so easily be ridiculed or laughed at for our “naivety.”  Help us to look to You for wisdom, for generosity to be able to move to maturity in Love.

“The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed. We can’t afford to waste a minute. . .Get out of bed and get dressed! Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!” (Romans 13:12-14) Let’s put on Christ this day and not waste a minute. It’s almost Morning…