Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 15

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 15

Questions for Reflection:
1. Read Philippians 2:5-11.  Paul encourages believers to have the same “attitude of mind” toward each other as Christ had.  In light of the Philippians passage, what does this mean to you?  How does it impact the way you interact with other people?  What does Paul say the intended outcome of acting in this way is?
2. Paul believes that the believers in Rome know all of the things that he has written, yet he writes them boldly to “remind” them.  What do you think he means by this?  How does this have bearing on our worship services and the reading and proclaiming of God’s Word?
3. As he begins to close his letter, Paul talks about his future plans.  He urges them to “join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.”  Have you ever thought about prayer in this way?  How does it impact your prayer life?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that you may indeed have the same “attitude of mind” towards others, both believers and non-believers, as Christ had and has for us.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially in this Holy Week leading up to Easter.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that hearts would be softened to 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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