Friday, May 10, 2013

May 10 - Romans 13

Today's reading in our daily plan is Romans 13. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • In the first section we learn that God's people should be responsible citizens who obey the laws. The only exception would be if obeying the government would force you to disobey God.
  • The second section teaches us that all of God's laws are summed up in love. All the laws are all meant to teach us to live a life of love. Love is the fulfillment of the law.
  • The third section warns us not to get caught up in daily life and forget about God. It's easy to waste our life away living for the wrong things. If we're wise we'll say no to temptation and live for Jesus.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • At Verve we say we're all about "Love God, Love People, Turn the World Upside Down." This chapter tells us that the entire law is loving God and loving people. Everything God tells us is to lead us to a life of love.
  • Verse 11 says "our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed." The idea is that every day we get closer to the time when Jesus will return to Earth to end the world as we know it, or to the day of our death. That thought should inspire us to live in a way we can be proud of and not regret.
  • Verve 14 tells us, "do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh." Notice the idea that sin often happens in part because we plan for it to happen. We think about sinning, and it leads us to sin.
  • Notice that we're told, in verse 14, that for a person to not live  old lives we need to be "clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ." This is not about us gritting our teeth and clenching our fists and living a good life out of sheer will power. This is about us receiving and living out a new life through our relationship with Jesus and his power.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Do you spend your time thinking about and planning on loving, or on sinning? What are some of  the reasons to devote your life to love instead of satisfying your selfish desires? What are some of the things you could do to help yourself? Like how do you think you can "clothe yourself with Christ"?