Sunday, January 15, 2017

THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Today’s Reading: Romans 14

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

The Roman Forum is a rectangular plaza surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the centre of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum. For centuries it was the centre of Roman public life: the site of triumphal processions, venue for public speeches, criminal trials, gladiatorial matches, and the nucleus of commercial affairs. Here statues and monuments commemorated the city’s great men. The Forum today is a sprawling ruin of architectural fragments and intermittent archaeological excavations.

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: Romans 14:17

…For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 

What a contrast! …the kingdom of man (Rome pictured above) and the Kingdom of God. Man is impressed by great buildings, pomp and circumstance. God is impressed by humble people who pray, read His Word and worship Him consistently wherever they happen to be.

The emphasis in today’s reading is about food in Rome. Almost all of the meat and vegetables sold in the markets had been presented to the gods as a sacrifice. This offended the consciences of those striving to be pure before God, particularly the Jewish believers (remember the dietary laws we read about in Leviticus). Many new believers in Jesus who started off in peace and joy have had their freedom withered away by legalism. Paul deals with this issue in several of his letters, notably Galatians. Here in Romans he raises the same issue and warns believers against being bound up in rules about appropriate food and drink. While the legalist may strive for righteousness, he or she will never achieve it. This matter caused Paul to take a stand against Peter (read Galatians 2:11-21). Paul declared that Christ died in vain if righteousness comes through the Law.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I’m learning that holy living comes through Your Holy Spirit living within me, not from keeping religious rules and regulations, not eating certain foods, etc. Please fill me up more and more with peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. By faith, I am truly free to be a faithful follower of Jesus in Your Kingdom! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I don’t believe that when Peter and Paul disagreed they considered forming a separate religious denomination. As a teenager, I saw the once mighty soul-winning “Holiness Movement” almost destroyed by legalism (e.g. a certain way of dressing, etc.). Perhaps the “Old Order Mennonites” would be a modern example of outward religious dress codes. The main body of these precious people have moved away from these restrictions and are a great example of “peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” The “holier than thou” attitude produced by my own efforts is a huge turn-off for those people with whom I want to share Jesus. Every morning I open my heart to a new infilling of God’s Word and His Spirit. Then I just live life to the full. What peace! What joy! Early in my Christian life, I felt that I was dragging myself around by the scruff of my neck, trying to live as I should. One day, when I was 20 years old, I said to God, “I can’t live this way anymore!” I heard that inner voice of the Lord say to me, “Good, now relax and let Me live in you and through you.” What a wonderful freedom! I began to experience “peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Yours for being filled, as much as our capacities will allow, with the Word of God and with the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please grow my capacity. Amen!

David

15 thoughts on “Sunday, January 15, 2017

  1. Paul is my absolute favourite, as are you, dear David. I thank you for teaching me to be devoted in reading the Bible with prayer and meditation, every morning. Falling in love with God’s Word–His love story to us, is a blessing beyond expression. You did not die in vain, dear Jesus. Thank You, Lord, for being our strength. Wishing all saints a wonderful day of praise and worship to our King. Amen!

    “Be still, and know that I am God…” Ps 46:10 NIV

    Jehovah Shalom – Shannon Wexelberg – Lyric Video (beautiful!)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsxhQCcEyvI

    • Thank you Beverlee, just what I needed this morning.
      Thank you as well Pastor David, your words are comforting and full of hope. Hope you are enjoying your new home and are feeling better. They have named my type of vertigo as Vestibular Neuritis. Bless all blog friends this Lord’s Day. Eleanor M.

  2. God so wants us to be happy, full of peace and joy. Thank you for your thoughts and testimony on righteousness by faith. Romans so makes that clear. May his children show that love in their lives.

  3. To love and be loved are great things. Please help us, Lord, to rest and trust in You, and be welcoming, accepting & loving to others. Thank You, Lord God, for all the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on…
    In Jesus’ great Name, amen

  4. Thank you David for your posting faithfully today. Trust you are improving each day in your health and feeling very comfy in your new abode, you and Norma Jean. We had two good services today; one with our new pastor and wife whom we hired today and a benefit Gospel Sing at 2pm which has helped our church meet its expenses at present. God bless you all and trust you had a great worship day.

  5. How true, Pastor David…sso freeing to be set free of religiosity!!! holding the Hand of Jesus and following Him!! Sometimes its not too easy to let go of old habits…but by the Grace of God…He sets us FREE!!!

  6. I did not receive today’s blog in my “inbox”…but thankfully, I am able to access it from the day before, or directly from 100HuntlyStreet. Though I do miss receiving it in my “inbox” ….thank you.

  7. prayers need please! 2 young men are needing God’s love and care and direction; we pray that the Lord will remove an eating disorder from one, completely heal this person, make him whole, make him happy, make him smile; THANK YOU LORD;
    we pray that the Lord will send the right woman across the path of one of these young men, a woman with a God filled heart; a beautiful smile, a woman that knows Jesus Christ and somewhat understands how a person can have doubts; may God bring a woman into this person’s life who will be very caring and comforting and will be able to extend grace and mercy to this wonderful person. ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH GOD FOR THOSE WHO BELIEVE!

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