Romans 11:13 What’s Common Over What’s Different

Romans 11:13 (KJV)
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Though the word church is not used specifically of Romans, that it is written to a church in Rome is clear. He references the church in Cenchrea and the church in the house of Priscilla and Aquila.

Interestingly, the first portion of the book seems to be written from a Jewish perspective and to Jewish Christians. This passage is clearly written to Gentile Christians. They are obviously in the same church and/or in cooperating churches, i.e. churches of like faith.

This supports, in my view, the principle of Christians dropping their ethnic backgrounds (though perhaps not completely forgetting them) and uniting together in a local church. Inside the church there is neither Jew nor Gentile but the church of God. There are Christians bound together for a common purpose. There are believers focused on their common commission and not their national and cultural differences.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 11:13 What’s Common Over What’s Different

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Romans 10:3-4 Three Kinds of Righteousness

Romans 10:3-4 (KJV)
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

This is a fascinating play on the word, righteousness. Though I am cognizant of the possibility of making more than is here, still, it seems significant that God both inspired and preserved this contrast of the word.

God’s righteousness
Benson says this is the holy character of God as well as the extent of His holy law. I cannot argue that the Jews would have been ignorant of the holiness of God. I can see only that they misunderstood the nature of and purpose of God’s law.

Their own righteousness
This takes us to Adam and Eve and the root trouble of every man. We want to establish our own righteousness as good enough. Maybe we even want it to be established as the ultimate good.

The righteousness of God
If it is fair to make a distinction between this and the first it is that this has to do with God’s plan to bring righteousness to man.

The sense of the verse would be that the Jews, being ignorant of the true purpose of God’s law and wishing to establish themselves as righteous by their own merit, refused to submit to the one and only way God has determined that a man might be righteous before Him; in Jesus Christ.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Romans 10:3-4 Three Kinds of Righteousness

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Acts 27:29 Wishing For the Day

Acts 27:29 (KJV)
Then fearing lest we should have fallen upon rocks, they cast four anchors out of the stern, and wished for the day.

The sailors had done all they could do. They had labored and, to the best of their ability, plied their skills against Euroclydon. So they cast their anchors and “wished for the day.”

Daylight would not solve their problem. It could very well spell their doom. But at least they could look their problem in the eyes. They could confront their situation head on.

No good thing comes from hiding in the shadows of difficulty. Regardless of the storm we face we are always best to face it and deal with it.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 27:29 Wishing For the Day

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Matthew 12:36 Every Idle Word

Matthew 12:36 (KJV)
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I was in a conversation with a man I deeply admire, a preacher 26 years my senior. In the course of conversation I mentioned that I had recently turned 60, telling him the date of my birthday. The conversation carried on with little change of direction with the mention. We enjoyed the meal and the fellowship. I thought nothing of my mention of my birthday and would have guessed my friend thought little of it either.

Next day was Sunday and my friend was preaching. In the course of his message he brought up our conversation, my mention of my birthday and then said, “I was up last night thinking about that. I had a son born that same month and year. He died just two months later.”

I didn’t know. I meant nothing by it. He did not make a big deal of it at the time. But just the mention of my birthdate opened the doors of a sixty-year old grief for him.

It reminded me of how powerful words are. No wonder Jesus warned that we will give an account of every idle word. Words expressed with little thought and deliberation can be painful, even downright harmful.

My words were spoken in innocence and received without offense. Still they caused pain. I am not saying that what I did was wrong, I don’t think it was. But it does serve as a reminder how important it is that we consider our words.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Matthew 12:36 Every Idle Word

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Romans 4:2 From Whence Glory?

Romans 4:2 (KJV)
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Now here is a telling verse.

The question needs to be asked, “From whence do we wish to have glory?”

  • A man may have glory before men or
  • A man may have glory before God

The one is derived by works while the other is the product of faith. It is not possible to have both because friendship with the world is enmity with God.

That there is a place for work is well documented in the Book of James. The Christian is not saved to sit idly by. God has saved us to good works and ordained that we should walk in them.

The heart of the matter is, I think, twofold:

Whose pleasure do we seek?
Do we seek to please men or God? The answer may not be as obvious as we think it to be. Oftentimes the pleasure of God will be at the displeasure of men, even our brethren. Just ask Apostle Paul.

How shall we seek it?
If we have determined to seek the pleasure of God then we must ask ourselves how we would go about it. The natural man would do it through his own ingenuity. He would design a system:

  • Of checks and balances,
  • Of do’s and don’ts,
  • Of good and bad

and set himself about working his system.

The spiritual man would take the much more unnatural course. He would rest in God’s promises. He would trust in the Lord. He would be satisfied to serve the Lord whenever, wherever and however God pleased. He would wait on the Lord to glorify him in eternity.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Romans 4:2 From Whence Glory?

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Romans 2:2 There Is A Judgment of God to Come

Romans 2:2 (KJV)
But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

Albert Barnes writes of this verse, “…it is the common and admitted sentiment of mankind. It is known and believed by people generally that God will punish such crimes. It is implied in this declaration that this was known to the Jews, and it was particularly to the purpose of the apostle so to express himself as to include the Jews. …”

Though the book of the Roman is written to believers (see Romans 1:7) in this passage he rhetorically speaks to the man born with Jewish blood and resting in that birth.

Albert Barnes continues, “… Outwardly he might appear well to people; but God searched the heart, and saw the secret as well as the open deeds of people, and they who practiced secretly what they condemned openly, could not expect to escape the righteous judgment of God. God, without respect of persons would punish wickedness, whether it was open, as among the Gentiles, or whether it was concealed under the guise of great regard for religion, as among the Jews.”

We are sure, there can be no doubt, and it is commonly admitted by:

  • The Christian
  • The Jew and even
  • The unsaved Gentile

that there is a judgment of God to come.

Be prepared for that judgment.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4300 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Romans 2:2 There Is A Judgment of God to Come

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Acts 26:2 Happiness Is A Choice. Choose It.

Acts 26:2 (KJV)
I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:


”I think myself happy”

Happiness is an attitude more than an emotion. It is a state of mind that can be created by choice. (Or else by choices.)

There was no reason for Paul to be happy. He had been:

  • Falsely accused,
  • Dragged into jail
  • Threatened a beating
  • Attempted to be assassinated and
  • Drug to Caesarea where he would be held for years

Yet, when given opportunity to present his case before Agrippa he thought himself happy.

There is no doubt circumstances can tend to

  • Unhappiness,
  • Depression and
  • Heartbreak

Life presents ample difficult situations and trials of soul that, if one would allow them to, could overwhelm the heart. We need not allow them to. We have tools to overcome them.

We can trust God
Faith in and of itself tends to joy and happiness. We know God is good and in control and this knowledge can relieve a troubled heart.

We can choose good friends
There are people whose own attitude and success in overcoming can lift our spirits. We should choose their company over those who rather choose to succumb to their troubles.

We can hear good music
Some music commiserates on trouble. Some rejoices in the victories God gives. The right music, with the right message can lift the soul.

We can reflect on positive things
This is what Paul did. In the midst of maybe dozens of reasons to be unhappy, he chose instead to think of that one thing he could think was happy.

Happiness is a choice. Choose it.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 26:2 Happiness Is A Choice. Choose It.

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.

Acts 23:27 In But Not Of This World

Acts 23:27 (KJV)
This man was taken of the Jews, and should have been killed of them: then came I with an army, and rescued him, having understood that he was a Roman.

Paul was a Jew by birth, blood, education and conviction; but he was Roman by law. His heart belonged to the Lord, which placed it in immediate conflict with the Caesar, who styled himself a god. Paul’s relationship to Rome was of little concern to him except that it provided him certain liberties that would not have existed for everyone.

The Christian finds himself in a similar situation. He is legally attached to the nation of his birth and finds he has certain rights and responsibilities inherent to those attachments. He may, in good conscience, enjoy and employ those rights and responsibilities. Indeed he may be able to use them to aide his service to the Lord. He is not required to renounce these attachments. Paul never did.

But his allegiance is to another citizenship. He is legally of this earth but he is spiritually of heaven.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 23:27 In But Not Of This World

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Acts 18:2 Divine Appointments

Acts 18:2 (KJV)
And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.

I heard someone say recently that had, Jesus entered this world 100 years earlier or 100 years later, He would not have been able to impact the world so broadly as He did. Of course we understand this to mean humanly speaking. He is God and could have determined His own circumstances for impact. Fact was the world in Israel was perfectly tuned for the spread of the Gospel as it did under Christ and His Apostles. There are no coincidences with God. Jesus came at the time appointed of His Father.

Such appointments are manifested repeatedly in the Word of God. Paul, after a discouraging visit in Athens, just happened to find in Corinth a certain Jew named Aquila.

  • Who happened to be of the same craft
  • Who happened to be sympathetic to the Gospel
  • Who happened to be of such character to become devoted
  • Who happened to be skilled in expounding what Paul taught and
  • Who happened to become an important part of Paul’s life’s work

I like to describe God as the orchestrator. He orchestrates characters. times and events for His glory and purpose.

What a wonder it is to be one of those instruments in His orchestra.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 18:2 Divine Appointments

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Acts 17:4 Not A Few, But Not Enough

Acts 17:4 (KJV)
And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

I am intrigued by these terms, “a great multitude” and “not a few.” Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica had been successful. Not a few had believed the message and trusted Christ.

  • Not a few but
  • Not enough

Not enough to sway the Jews toward Conversion. Not enough to prevent lewd fellows from assaulting Jason. Not enough to keep the city from an uproar and not enough to provide Paul a welcome to stay and continue preaching. Not a few but not enough.

No matter how successful a ministry is it is petty (speaking of numbers) in comparison to those who disagree with it. My father in law used to speak of big fish in a small pond. The largest and most influential ministries are only that in the eyes of others with smaller ministries. They may puff out their chests as if they have been blessed more greatly than some others but, in the eyes of the world, they are little and despised.

It leads me to think this; we will never be so successful as to appear successful in the eyes of the world. We will never have seen enough saved as to turn the course of humanity in our own power. These are things only God can do and we must therefore remain in humble trust upon Him.

 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4200 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 17:4 Not A Few, But Not Enough

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at http://www.dubli.com/M04VB. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.