The First 15

Thursday July 8, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father – help me start today with a clear heart and a clear mind ready to receive your word in a brand new way today. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Romans 5:1-11

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Reflection 

Today’s passage of scripture is a familiar one, packed with beautiful and inspiring teaching. The Apostle Paul’s passion about what God has done for us through Jesus Christ is so clear. Highly important phrases and images stand out easily for us, like…
● “we have now received reconciliation” (v.11)
● “we have now been justified by his blood” (v. 9)
● “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (v. 5)
● “we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (v. 2)
● “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 1)
● “we have been justified through faith” (v. 1)
Notice that Paul primarily uses past tense verbs to help his listeners understand that God has already given these gifts of grace “at just the right time, when we were still powerless” (v. 6). Paul says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (v. 8)
Eugene Peterson translates Paul’s words this way:
“Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!” – Romans 5:11 MSG

● How could you more intentionally acknowledge, or give thanks for, these beautiful gifts of God’s grace that have been given for you to accept by faith again and again?

Closing Prayer

Lord, these are your words. This is our story. Help me live in a way that honors you today and everyday. Amen.

The First 15

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