Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 11

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is somewhat of a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 11

Questions for Reflection:
1. We may not often think about grace in this way, but when we strive to earn our way into God’s favor and earn our own righteousness, we actually deny God’s grace and the work of Jesus Christ.  How does this reality strike you?  Does it change your perspective on what God has offered you by grace?
2. The word picture that Paul uses here of being “ingrafted,” cut from a wild tree and grafted into a cultivated one is stunning.  One of the words that Paul often uses in reference to this is “adoption.”  In what ways do these words challenge or amplify your understanding of your identity in Christ?
3. Paul speaks a great statement of equality in verse 32.  What does this say about salvation?  What does it say about earning righteousness?  Does this change your perspective on the Gospel?

Prayer

Pray for yourself and thank God His adoption of you and the salvation you have in Jesus Christ!
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we may be a place where people find Christ and can grow and thrive as newly engrafted branches of His vine.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, God would work through the churches here, bringing unity amongst the congregation and that our united witness would amplify the message of the Gospel.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

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