We have come to the end of Paul's letter to the Romans! Good job hanging in there!
The end of this letter is full of wonderful personal greetings. I love the little notes Paul is sending to so many individuals, complete with their names!
Can you imagine the wonderful response people had when they heard their names being read in this letter? The end of Paul's letter is heartwarming.
This, again, puts a personal face on this man. It also shows me how REAL God's Word is.
The Bible contains a real message to real people. The personal notes help me understand the writers God used to deliver His message.
In this last chapter, Paul makes a few statements which are very relevent today. Take a look:
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. -- Romans 16: 17 -19
Do you ever feel like people are deceiving you with "smooth talk and flattery"?
Do you think there are some people "not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites"?
You don't have to look far into movies and media to find examples of that!
Please be aware that "our own appetites" and "smooth talk and flattery" are some of the devil's favorite tools! Make sure you are not being distracted by them!
Finally, Paul closes his letter with a proclamation we can all use:
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
- Romans 16
Jesus revealed a way all of mankind can be reconciled to God. Paul was making a bold statement in mentioning Gentiles (all of those who did not practice the Jewish faith!) in his closing. That was a huge statement for his time. He included people who were usually not considered God's "chosen ones".
Bottom line, God created everyone. He loves us and wants us all to come to Him. God is a just God who cannot be in the presence of sin.
Enter: Jesus, God's Son. He made a way to take care of our universal sin problem.
BUT - God has not created a nation of robots. He has given us free will. We must CHOOSE to invite Jesus into our lives.
Where are YOU at the end of The Book of Romans? I pray you have fallen into the arms of your loving Savior. Consider making the thoughtful commitment.
It took me 36 years to commit to Jesus because no one truly explained salvation to me. I want to share Christ's message of hope with everyone because it changed my life forever!
Bottom line: Choosing Christ MAKES SENSE. We make decisions for every facet of our lives: -- Where to go to school -- What career to choose -- Who to marry -- Where to live -- How to spend our time....
We SHOULD make a CHOICE for Jesus...otherwise our commitment is half-hearted, at best. That carries no Heavenly guarantee.
If you are like me, you may not have considered the DECISION for Christ until later in life.
Today is always a good day to make a decision.
What will you do with Jesus?
Here is a possible prayer:
I admit that I am a sinner. I've done things that don’t please you. In a lot of ways, I've lived my life for myself. I am sorry. I ask you to forgive me. I believe you died on the cross for me to save me. I come to you now and ask you to take control of my life. I give it to you. Help me to live every day in a way that pleases you. I love you, Lord, and I thank you that I'll spend all eternity with you. Amen.
If you prayed this prayer, please let me know! You have started a wonderful journey. Please contact me via Watwelsh@aol.com and we'll walk together.
Stay tuned for our next Bible Study -- Coming next week!