Man, how do I follow Thursday’s act? Real talk, fam: I can’t help feeling like I shot my wad with the previous post on the foundational importance of God’s sacrificial love. If what I said was true, then won’t whatever topic I talk about inevitably fall short in significance of what I had to say in that last post? Maybe so. But I wrote that post because I love God and you guys, so today I’m going to put my love for God and you guys into practice again, this time by writing a post that is not explicitly about love.
Let’s talk about love today. This passage from Romans 5 is about a lot of things, and if I had to say it’s about one single thing, I’m not sure what I’d say. Is it all about reconciliation? Rejoicing in tribulation? Jesus Christ? Yes, it’s about all those things, and probably others besides. But it’s also all about love.
It’s another day: a fresh start and a fresh look at Romans 5:1-11. Yesterday I got all the predestination and free will thoughts out of my brain system, and I’m a clean slate ready for new perspectives. Today I want to ask a much better question: what is happening to us? Because it’s clear from this passage that whatever our role, whether active participants or wholly passive recipients, in what is happening to us, something is happening to us.
Let’s just rip off the band-aid: I know at least one of you has no interest in seeing the topic of predestination and free will considered here on Chocolate Book. (I know because this person has told me.) But every weekday I open up the Bible, read the passage, and write up my thoughts on it, and right now I can’t read this passage without thinking about the Verboten Subject. We’ve got to spend all week in these eleven verses for the Triad study, and as much as I wish I could write something else about them, I’m squeezing my brain and this is what’s coming out. Better to get over the predestination-and-free-will hump sooner rather than later, so that hopefully tomorrow I will find myself able to think other things about the passage. Sorry, friend.
Wait, what’s that strange book on the table? Why is the scripture passage a printout from a spiral-bound workbook instead of Jackson’s dad’s well-worn, possibly leather-bound Bible with handwritten notes in the margins? You would be forgiven for having forgotten it, but that’s right, folks: the Triad study is back! Just as a refresher, the Triad study is a program put together by Hope Church, in which three dudes or three ladies go through a curriculum and meet weekly to grow in the Christian faith and be discipled by Jesus together. When they complete the Triad study, the idea is that they each can start a new Triad with two new people, thereby multiplying disciples. And after an intermission of roughly half a stinkin’ year, we are returning to the study to get back on that horse.
Today’s Passage: Romans 16 The tail end of chapter 15 had Paul giving some personal notes and travel plans to his Roman readers, and here he continues in that vein with a bunch of personal greetings. A phrase in verses 3-4 jumped out to me: “Greet Prisca and Aquila…who for my life risked their own necks…” I […]
Today’s Passage: Romans 15 Paul’s got a vision for the church. What does he want to see? He wants to see people following Christ’s sacrificial example, looking out for other people’s benefit instead of selfishly pursuing their own pleasure. He wants to see people accepting each other. He wants to see the church on the […]
WARNING: Uneven Chocolate Break detected. That’s two in a row. What is wrong with you? Today’s Passage: Romans 14 In Romans 14:2, Paul writes, “One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only,” demonstrating that no mature Christian is a vegetarian. But seriously (because that was […]
WARNING: Uneven Chocolate Break detected. Please dispose of chocolate as quickly as possible in the nearest approved Chocolate Disposal Receptacle. Today’s Passage: Romans 13 Here’s another of Paul’s passages that is a hard pill to swallow, especially for us Americans. The ideas of submission to authority expressed in this passage form an important part of […]
Today’s Passage: Romans 12 Hands up if you had to memorize Romans 12:1-2 for Vacation Bible School. These days I’m experiencing the renewing of my mind, and it is fantastic. To be honest, my mind can be an absolute sludge pit of toxic thought patterns, a contradictory mix of pride and self-flagellation, an obsessive preoccupation with what others think of […]