New Testament Reflections…
- In Romans 9, Paul declares his heart for the lost. He says, “My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people…I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them” (Romans 9:2 NLT). What is my heart attitude toward the lost? What am I willing to sacrifice for them to come to Christ?
- As I read Romans 9:30-33 this past week, I thought about Israel and the Law a bit differently than I had previously. Israel’s use of the Law to make themselves acceptable to God (much as people do today by efforts to be a good person) stood out to me. I began to think…Yes, I rely on Christ’s death on the cross rather than my own efforts to save me from my sin. But, on a daily basis, do I continue to focus on His grace and love to make me acceptable in His sight? Or do my own efforts play more of a role than they should?
- Romans 12 is familiar to many of us, and we often hear it in isolation. What comes before Chapter 12? What is the context of Paul’s pleading that we offer our lives as a living sacrifice to God? How does this inform what Paul considers our logical response?
- How do my relationships and attitudes toward others align with Romans 12-14?
Old Testament Reflections…
- God’s presence is a recurring theme of the psalmists, as it has been throughout our Old Testament readings so far. As a believer on “this side” of the cross, I have the blessing of God’s continual presence through His Holy Spirit. How mindful am I of the blessings of His presence as written about in the Psalms?
- Psalms gives us language to take our emotions to God. What emotions do the psalmists display in their writings? (Tip: We can use the psalms as a pattern for our own prayers.)
- I love Psalm 73! Asaph writes that he “almost lost his footing” (73:2 NLT). What led him to that point?
- The writer of Psalm 77 was “too distressed even to pray” (77:4). What does he do when he finds himself in this situation? How do I respond when I feel this level of distress?