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A Love That Never Quits

Scripture - Romans 8:31-39 Holy One, fill our hearts with your Spirit. Open our ears to hear your word proclaimed. Remind us that you are always with us, guiding us to be your faithful disciples. Amen. A woman from here in the south went to visit New York City for the first time. She went with preconceived ideas about crime & violence in the Big Apple. She stayed in a large downtown hotel with an underground parking garage. Late one evening, she returned to the lonely, empty garage. Now, if you ever watch TV crime shows, you know what happens in empty parking garages at night! So, with much trepidation, she quickly got out of her car & hustled to the elevator. Suddenly, out of the sh

Expect the Unexpected

Scripture - Genesis 28:10-17 Here in the house of God, let us open our minds, as we listen for the word of God. You all know that Sheryl & I moved in January. The move was a good time to do a closet purge. I do not wear suits like I used to, so I gave a couple of them away. Thankfully, I had the forethought to go through the pockets before putting them on the giveaway pile. And it is a good thing I did; I found a $10 bill in the pocket of one of those suits! It is a wonderful surprise to find something good in an unexpected place. When you stop & think about it, this is one of the joys of life – finding something good in unexpected places. The Scriptures are full of this kind of experie

The Spirit of Life

Scripture - Romans 8:1-11 This is the good news! Our Scripture is sheer gospel. So now – because of everything Paul has written in this letter, including what we looked at last week, how doing the ‘right thing’ was a struggle for Paul as much as it is for us – there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The Law, the Torah, which condemned those like Adam, who coveted what was not theirs, does not condemn those in Christ. The conscience, which condemned those Gentiles who fell into idolatry, does not condemn those in Christ. Those in Christ do not live under the Law of Moses or the law written in our own hearts: we live under a different reality – the reality of God’

Making Moral Choices

Scripture - Romans 7:15-25 Many of us can identify with little Johnny when he brought home his report card. His mother looked at the report card & noticed he had a terrible grade in conduct. When she asked him about it, he said, “Mom, conduct is my hardest subject!” This is true for most of us. We often find it hard to ‘do the right thing.’ This is what the apostle Paul was talking about in Romans 7. He was wrestling with his own soul between doing that which is good & that which is wrong. All of us can identify with Paul when he said: I don’t know what I’m doing, because I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do the thing I hate. The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can’t

 

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