Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 13

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 13

Questions for Reflection:
1. Scripture says that no authority on earth is present unless it has been established by God.  He is talking about everywhere.  How does that challenge your thought about our governments or others around the world?  How does it impact your feelings toward our government officials?
2. What does Paul mean in verse 8?  What areas of your life does that statement “let no debt remain outstanding…” challenge?
3. Paul talks about the things in chapters 12 and 13 with the understanding that “the day is near.”  What does he mean by this?  Do you sense the urgency that he is feeling as he writes?  How does it impact the way you think about your walk with Christ?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, for respect of government authorities and officials, even when you don’t agree with their party, platform, actions, or behavior.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be a church that is clothed in Jesus Christ and stands as a witness to Him in all that we do.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that any assumptions about HCC or other churches would be overtaken by the reality of the Gospel preached and lived out in our ministries.
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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