Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 9

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 9

Questions for Reflection:
1. Why do you think Paul has such great anguish in his heart over Israel?  Can you relate to his struggle over his people having all the opportunities but taking none of them?  How have you experienced this?
2. Paul begins a conversation on “election” in verses 6-29.  How do you understand this theological term?  Read Ephesians 1:3-14.  How does this clarify what Paul is saying in Romans 9?
3. Ultimately, it was both unbelief and the pursuit of righteousness by works that is Israel’s downfall.  How have/do we tend to fall into this same struggle in our lives today?  Are there places you have seen this in the church?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, thank God for His calling on your life and the grace that He has shown you and that you have accepted!
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we, as the people of God, can shine His light in the world and lead others to Christ!
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that opportunities would be presented to tell people about Jesus and that the Spirit would work to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ!
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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