BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! We are moving!

WE ARE MOVING!!

That’s right! Hot Tea and the Empty Seat found a new home & it’s waiting for you to go get cozy and show some love! I will no longer be posting on this URL/blog page and eventually it will be deleted. SO, please check out the new blog! Let’s not miss each other for too long…

Since we don’t want to see you go, please head over here now and subscribe via email to our new blog! You will still receive the same encouragement in your inbox, it will just be prettier & more organized!!! If you don’t subscribe and follow the new blog, you won’t get all of the weekly awesomeness & we don’t want that!

I would also LOVE you if you headed over there right now with your hot tea in hand and peeked around a bit. There is a new ‘about me’ and lots of goodies just waiting for you to enjoy!

The new blog link is: http://www.hotteaandtheemptyseat.blogspot.com/

 

Thank YOU so much for being a part of Hot Tea and the Empty Seat. This is just the beginning! Can’t wait to hear from you!

 

See you soon! -Katie

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Summer Bible Study: Romans // Ch. 13

HEY! I’m so glad that you are back! I can’t wait to dig into scripture with you. If you have never joined us before, we are on chapter 13 of our Romans summer bible study. There are only a few more chapters left but it isn’t too late to hang out with us today! If you missed Romans 12, you can check it out here! This journey through Romans has grown me to love being in His Word. It’s such a comforting joy to relish in His truth. I pray that you & I would have a greater desire to study and truly live out what we learn from Him in His Word. Let’s jump right in!!

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Romans 13: 1-7

What is this passage saying?

Paul is instructing his readers to submit to authority. Although Paul seems to focus more on the government side of the authority, we can apply his words to any authority we may have in our lives. I remember when I was a teenager {Lord, help us all} and like any 14-year-old, I didn’t have much respect for my parents, much less any other higher-ups. Without getting into all of the stories of doorslamming, yelling, and eye-rolling… I did not have the attitude of submission. Most people don’t. And that’s exactly why God places that word, submission, all throughout scripture. In God’s eyes, when we submit to our parents, our boss, our teachers, or any other “authority figure” in our lives, we are really submitting to God. When government seems crooked, our boss is a jerk, or our teachers & parents are unfair, we are called to respond in a respectful and loving way.

How can I practically apply this truth in my life?

Let’s ask God for His perspective on this subject. As hard as it is, this glorifies God. There is no higher than God and we can rest in that fact. God Himself has appointed the rulers in this world for His reasons. His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. {Isaiah 558-9} We can trust that God is the only One to judge and He is in control of all things and people, including authority.

Romans 13:8-10

What is this passage saying?

Paul goes on to speak about LOVE. At the end of verse 7, Paul tells us that if we owe someone something, we ought to pay them back no matter if it is taxes or honor. He then goes on to say something amazing. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another” We are called to love one another above all other things. Respect, submission, honor… all of those things stem from the love that we should have for one another.

How can I practically apply this truth in my life?

Before we can truly love anyone, we must know God. Did you know that?! Those aren’t just my words, either. God Himself speaks through John and tells us this in 1 John chapter 4:

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

Loving others is what God has called us to do. Period. How are you loving others? How are you loving your spouse, your children, your family, your friends, your coworkers, your actual neighbors, and even complete strangers?

Loving someone means putting their needs above your own.

Love is knowing God, experiencing His love, & sharing His love with others.

How are you loving?

Romans 13:11-14

What is this passage saying?

I picture Paul getting really excited while He is talking about love and how love is the fulfillment of all the commands from God. Then, He starts to quiet down and starts to talk s-l-o-w-l-y because He REALLY wants us to hear these next few lines. Picture a tall dude named Paul standing in front of you and a crowd of people. You know that His Words are actually God-breathed and then He says this…

“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

…and all is quiet before he screams…

WAKE UP!

Wake up. Friend, fellow sibling in the faith, we are almost out of time. This life we are living in simply a vapor. We are here today and gone tomorrow. Are we aimlessly going through life, like we are halfway sleeping? Eat. Sleep. Work. Play. Repeat. We do not have time for simply this! God put us on this earth and called us His own not so we could indulge in our desires, sinful & fleshly. No. He created us for ONE PURPOSE: to glorify Him. We already learned that by loving others, we can glorify Him. Another way? By putting aside, throwing off, the deeds of darkness (sinful things) and putting on the armor of LIGHT.

It’s time we stop flirting with sin. It’s time to destroy it. To shine His light ALL OVER this world & it’s darkness.

Paul lays it out for us pretty clear:

“Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh

This is radical, my friend. Because all of those fans of Jesus think it’s perfectly fine to be wallowing in their sexual immorality and jealousy and drunkenness and straight up sin. God has given you one purpose, and that purpose has nothing to do with your own self. It’s all about our lives and our will being handed over, being traded with God’s…. with love, selflessness, with joy unspeakable, hope, with JESUS.

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

Spend time with God. Pray to Him, talk to Him, listen for Him. Sing to Him, cry out to Him, whisper to Him. Ask Him questions.

All of this is done in vain if we do not know Him. Loving others is impossible without knowing God’s love. The ability to put our sin to death is impossible without Jesus’ blood covering it.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” Those verses from James 4 changed my life forever. God spoke those words to me when I was a rebellious 18-year-old searching for purpose when my world was falling apart. He spoke truth, conviction, and hope into my soul that night. I haven’t been the same since. He can change you too. Be willing. And be ready to have your world turned upside down. When He speaks to the dead, life & beauty rises. He has a purpose for you. Glorify Him. He is worth it.

Summer Bible Study: Romans // Chapter 12!

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“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with sisterly love…”

Is anyone else just absolutely raving about this chapter!? If you are seeking life-altering, heart-changing truths, please dive into Romans 12. If you haven’t read it yet, you can check it out here! But seriously, you are going to want to read it.  God has used Romans 12 just this week to totally change the way I think about my life in the day-to-day. If this is your first time reading one of our Roman Reviews, I’m genuinely so glad that you are here! It’s never too late for you to join us! You arrived on the perfect day. God definitely wants to speak to you today. There is so much truth in Romans 12 that it would take days to go through everything that is packed into this one chapter. I’m only going to share the main things that God brought to my attention that I need to focus on and then it’s your turn to share what God is speaking to or teaching you about in Romans 12!  Okay, I’m going to stop rambling so that we can jump right in!

——-Romans 12:1-2——-

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

+ The first thing that sticks out at me and totally grabs my heart is Paul’s urge to His fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to be a living sacrifice. What does this mean? To be a living sacrifice is to be willing, open, & selfless for God. It’s not withholding anything for Him to use. It’s a life that knows it is not it’s own. Your hands and heart are wide open, not clinched shut, in His presence. You intentionally choose God’s ways over your own. You have no agenda but to be used for God’s glory and fame. It’s selflessness. To be a living sacrifice is literally offering your entire life up to God. This poses these questions in my heart…. {I hope that you can ask yourself these same questions}

Ask yourself: How am I choosing to be a living sacrifice in this life? For God? In my marriage? In my friendships? In my family?

+ “Do not conform to the pattern of this world” —This “world” that Paul is referring to is the people who do not follow Jesus and believe in Him as Savior and Lord over their life. It is the sinfulness in this broken world.

Am I following the world’s ways? Does my life look more like Christ’s or the world’s? Do the things I do on a day-to-day basis glorify God or do they glorify this world?

+ “but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to know God’s perfect will” We are transformed, from the inside out, by renewing our minds EVERY SINGLE DAY. What does this look like? It’s being in God’s Word and studying it, soaking it in, eating it up. It’s worshipping in spirit and in truth. It’s being in a constant, intimate relationship with God day-to-day. When we are taking in His Word {the Bible}, we start to transform. It’s like eating. We NEED food to grow and be healthy, strong. The more we eat nutritional food, we change, we grow. It’s the same with our relationship with God. The more we take in our daily bread, the more we will look like Jesus. Our troubled minds will start transforming into a mind that is like Jesus’. I can’t go more than a few hours without eating otherwise I start to get tired, weak, weary, and just plain sick.

Ask yourself: Am I full on God’s Word or am I starving myself? Am I intentionally seeking God? Am I in His Word every day? Am I in prayer, just enjoying and praising Him, getting to know Him? Am I drawing closer to God or am I doing my own thing, not growing or transforming?

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What stuck out to you the most? What is God calling you to change or grow in? Comment below so that we can be praying for each other!

You are loved!

-Katie

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Summer Bible Study: Romans // TEN

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Hey there! Have you enjoyed studying Romans? I sure have! God has shown me many different things about what righteousness and faith really look like. More than that though, I feel as if I am in a season of the testing of my faith right now. So many things are bidding my action to faith and it has been a beautiful mess learning to have faith in all things, good & bad. I love that God doesn’t leave us alone to deal with our problems. He is with us and speaks right to us with His Word and I’m thankful that He has been doing just that while studying Romans. He is teaching me to truly live out what I study even if I fall a thousand times in the process. What has God been teaching, showing, or challenging you with through the study of Romans? Let me know in the comment section below!

Today, we are in Romans 10; a short yet powerful chapter of salvation for all people.

 

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Romans 10:1-4

What is this passage saying?

Paul is expressing that his heart’s desire and prayer to God is that the Jews who were placing their faith and hope for salvation in their works would come to know Christ, be saved. He says that they have that zeal yet they are ignorant of the true salvation that Christ bestows. The Jews that Paul is talking about were so focused on doing good works in order to become righteous, right before God. They didn’t accept the truth that Jesus had just paid their debt in full on the cross. Like we have talked about so often in the former chapters, that is true faith, believing in Him who paid our ransom for sin and made us righteous through His blood.

How can we practically apply these truths to my life?

Zeal, or passion, and true knowledge of salvation go hand in hand in knowing God and serving Him. We can’t simply have passion without knowing anything about Jesus because that just makes like any other person without Jesus. We can’t only have knowledge since passion is what moves us to desire God. Head knowledge doesn’t mean salvation. You have to have the heart behind it. You must be moved {zeal for God} to repentance {knowledge of your sin & Christ’s forgiveness}. Passion & wisdom, zeal and knowledge. They go hand in hand!

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Romans 10:5-13

What is this passage saying?

Paul is quoting Moses from back in the OT {Leviticus to be exact} about how right standing before God is impossible if based only on the law. “To hope for a righteousness based on obedience to the law requires perfect conformity in every detail–an utter impossibility.” In verses six and seven, Paul speaks of righteousness by faith as if it were a person asking a question which is actually a quote from Deuteronomy 30. Isn’t he a pretty cool writer? “Do not say in your heart, “who will go into heaven?” that is, to bring Christ down or, “who will go down to the abyss?” that is to bring Christ up from the dead. On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.”    He is meaning… you do not have to go on a soul-searching adventure to find salvation, Christ. It is right here. Right in front of your face. It has clearly been revealed by God to man through His Word. It is by faith alone that you are saved.

How can I practically apply these truth to my life?

This is the message of faith, the gospel, the salvation of mankind: if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. {v. 9} Salvation is by faith in Jesus alone. You cannot earn your way to new life, freedom from sin, and eternity with Jesus. You can only have faith in Him for those things. Have you repented of your sin and asked for forgiveness? Do you really believe? Salvation is more than words. It’s a total giving away of your self to Jesus. It’s confessing that Jesus is Master over your life and you choose to give away your rights to Him. That’s what it means to confess that Jesus is Lord. It’s a way of life. It’s a daily pick-up-your-cross-and-follow-Jesus kind of decision.

One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.” {Rom. 10:10}

This salvation is available for all people. The white, the black, the rich, the poor, the needy, the prideful. All ages, all races. God is holding out in Hand for all of mankind.

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Romans 10:14-21

What is this passage saying?

God uses people, you & me, to make His name known to all the earth. There must be messengers for Christ going to the lost and unbelieving. Without messengers, people won’t hear. And those people hearing must be paying attention and believe. We, mankind are just like Israel. We are God’s children, chosen and loved. Yet, we continually choose our own way. We choose our own way. Some ears are bent on not listening. The point Paul is making is that we are all disobedient, whether we “look” good on the outside or not. Jew or Gentile, we are all in need of Christ.

How can I practically apply these passages to my life?

Thankfully, God is in control and we are not. He does the sending, the convicting, and the heart-changing. But as Christ followers, we have responsibility. Jesus has called each one of us out of the boat, out of our comfort zones, out of the norm to take the message of salvation to the ends of the earth. How are you on mission in your life for Christ?

 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” {Matthew 28:18-20}

When I was younger, I remember someone in my church asking a question that has stuck in my heart through all those years.

“Who is your one?”

We need to have at least one person in our life who we are doing life with, leading them to the Lord we follow. There doesn’t have to be anything fancy or formal. Just an intentional relationship where Jesus is the center and purpose. We are all called to lead others to Christ and you can do just that without going across the ocean to a third world country. Get out a piece of paper and start writing down people who come to your mind. Is it a family member, a neighbor, coworker, the girl in your class, a fellow new-mom, a church friend?

Let me ask you, who is your one? Your two, your three? Are you spreading the love of Christ?

“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:15b

You are loved

-Katie

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Summer Bible Study: Romans // EIGHT

I’m no biblical scholar but Romans chapter 8 ROCKS. We could camp in this one chapter for months! If you haven’t read it yet, please do now. You are in for an epic encounter with God. Chapter Eight is packed full of truth, encouragement, conviction, hope in the here & now, and hope for the future. Romans 8 is my top 3 favorite parts in the Bible. Paul must have been feelin’ it when he was writing this. I could just see him now, jumping up & down in his chair, arms tingling with the excitement that the Holy Spirit of God was hovering over him powerfully, speaking proclaiming truth right. through. him.

This week’s review and outline is going to be a little different because there is just so many specific verses that I don’t want to pass up. Next week, we will return to our normal outline. And remember, if you haven’t read chapter eight yet, look it up & read before you continue reading on here!

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Paul starts chapter eight off powerfully. These two first verses has given me assurance, hope, security, & encouragement in the very hard times in my life. I constantly go back to it when I am feeling less than worthy of Jesus’ love.

“Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1-2 hcsb

So anytime you feel inadequate, guilty, condemned, down and out because of your sinfulness, remember that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Period. Jesus will never condemn His children, ever. Of course Jesus wants us to repent of sin that we have committed after becoming a new creation in Him because it causes separation in your relationship with Him but it is not Jesus who is whispering those guilt-ridden words in your ear. Tell satan to go back to hell where he belongs because YOU are holy & blameless & LOVED in the sight of God Almighty! God looks at you and sees His perfect spotless son’s blood covering your soul. You are His. You are not condemned.

This was hard for me to truly believe. Because I feel like I have messed up so much in my life, I used to feel so unworthy of God’s love. And at times, still do. But His love for us has never been & never will be based on how “good” or “bad” we are. His acceptance of us is based solely on whether or not we have trusted in Jesus as our Savior and have given our lives completely to Him, mess & all. Like the Bible states in verses 3-4, Jesus alone fulfilled the law by giving up His life as a ransom for you and me. We can’t do that. No one but perfect Jesus could have ever done that. “For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”  Jesus does what we can’t do and when we walk life with Him, when He becomes our life, there is no condemnation for us. Only freedom!

 I have dealt with my fair share of insecurity. What I am learning is that my insecurity stems from my lack of trust in God. I am too focused on condemning myself that I fail to see that Jesus doesn’t do that to me. He LOVES me, all of me, and I shouldn’t worry one more minute trying to please Him or “getting Him to love me”. Jesus is my Savior & my life & that is all that matters. When we TRULY trust Him, we have freedom. We have freedom from those feelings of condemnation and guilt.

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“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:5,6,8 nkjv

Those who live according to the flesh are people who do not know Jesus as Savior. Therefore, they can only set their minds on things of the flesh because that is all they are. Those who live according to the Spirit are God’s children, the ones who claim Christ as their life & Savior.

This is a convicting verse for me because it is easy for those who live according to the Spirit to set their minds on earthly things. These things ought not to be but they are sometimes true because we are not perfect. It’s so easy to focus on this temporary life because that’s where we are, in the here & now. But Jesus says that we should be setting our minds on things above, where He is, not on things of this world which are sinful & passing away. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3

Forget success, forget riches, forget your selfish ambitions & dreams, forget all of that. Set your mind on showing Jesus to others, storing up riches in Heaven, seeking His perfect will for your life which is to glorify HIM in all that you do, & live your life for Jesus. Not yourself.

This isn’t popular. This doesn’t appeal to our senses. In a world that screams, “live your life for YOU!”, this sounds awful. Not a lot of people like to hear this. After taking away the glitter of this world, some think there is no point or happiness. Some say that God wants us to be happy and they use that as an excuse to do whatever they want in this life. But JESUS tells us that we are dead to this world (col. 3:3; rom 8:10; rom 6:4; rom 6:11; gal. 5:24; col. 2:20). Our selves are dead and the only thing living in us is Jesus Himself.

“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3  my life verse!

It’s not about you. It’s not about me. We are called to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus. Follow Him because He will lead you straight into a place where your wildest dreams couldn’t imagine. There is fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord!

These next few verses in Romans 8 are along the same lines. Check out Rom. 8:10-11

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“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time do not compare with the glory which shall be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18

Jesus followers, we are children of God. “If children, then heirs— heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified” (v.16)

Following Jesus means following Him into the hard places. The scary places. The places of persecution and trial. God never promised His children an easy life here on earth. In fact, the most bold & known Christians have died for Christ. Martyrs for the faith. Paul had his fair share & then some of persecution & hardship. And eventually, he died a brutal death for His beloved Lord Jesus.

And even in the pain, the torture, the prison, & the confusion, He exclaimed, “THESE SUFFERINGS DO NOT COMPARE TO THE GLORY AWAITING ME IN HEAVEN WITH MY JESUS!” His mind was set on above. His eyes were set on Jesus.

My heart is so moved. How many times do I whine and complain throughout the day? More than I should, my husband can attest to that. Never once have I been thrown in prison for following Christ. I live in the land of the free. Oh, that my heart would be softened to this. Open my eyes, Jesus. Give me the boldness I need. Help me to never take this freedom in America for granted. And be with your children who are suffering for Your name’s sake.

Will you join me in praying for your brothers and sisters around the world who are physically tortured for Christ? Once, maybe twice, have I been persecuted emotionally and verbally for following Christ and that was hard. I couldn’t imagine being physically persecuted. I pray that we will fall so in love with Jesus that we count all the pain as worth it, even if we are persecuted.

He sees your hurt and your pain. He is there with you through whatever you are dealing with…the cancer, the disease. He sees those kids at school looking down at you. He hears your husband speaking those painful words. He is with your child who has gone astray. He is with you as you feel alone. All of these things, He cares about. He is even speaking to God FOR YOU RIGHT NOW. {romans 8:26,27,34} And one day. Oh, one glad morning, that trumpet will sound and, praise God, we will fly away to the land where joy shall never end!!!! Keep your eyes on the prize, Jesus the king. It’s worth it. Keep pressing on. “All things work together for good to those who love God” -Romans 8:28a

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“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31

God. The God of the universe, the God of every created thing is for you. He is on your side, child. If God is for you, then who can be against you?

He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the start and the finish, the Perfect Lover & Sustainer, the King who reigns, the One who gives life & death. No one is above Him. And He loves you.

Stop & read Romans 8:31-39. Slowly & even a few times. What a beautiful passage of God’s forever love, His protection, & the confidence we can have in Jesus.

NOTHING can separate us from the love of God! Nothing, nothing, nothing. What are you letting hold you back from His love? There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus therefore nothing can separate us from His love!!! You can try to run from Him, but where will you go? No height, no depth, nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. {rom. 8:39}

You are loved

-Katie

Summer Bible Study: Romans // Ch. 7

You’re back!! It is so good to be back in my little corner of Starbucks writing to you all. Welcome to our summer bible study! We have been in Romans for the last few weeks and today we are reviewing Chapter Seven! Did anyone else highlight the entire chapter?? Did anyone else whisper “amen” or “me too” about ten times? It’s comforting to be in good company with Paul, the writer of Romans. He is so transparent & real, something that I feel we need a bit more of in our lives.

If you haven’t read Romans 7 yet, I encourage you to do that first before you read on! It’s a short yet powerful chapter. Let’s jump right in!

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Romans Chapter 7 {verses 1-12}

What is this passage saying?

Paul is calling out all of the people who base their belief of their standing with God on good works. There is no beating around the bush with this fella. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit of God, Paul, over & over, denounces this belief of self-righteousness. Through verses 1-6, Paul uses the analogy of marriage. We are born “married” to sin and the law. When a person gives their lives over to Jesus, they die to the law & their sin. The law loses it’s power over a person & Jesus becomes their Lord whom they obey. We are either bound to the law and sin or we are free in Christ. We do not gain freedom in Christ by being bound by the law because like his analogy, a wife cannot have two husbands. You are either bound by sin through the law or bound by freedom through Christ. Thank God that freedom in Christ is the only way to true peace, joy, & life.

Paul isn’t saying that the law is pointless. God created the law to point us to Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of the law. We realize our need for a Savior when we realize that we cannot keep the commands on our own. Like Paul says in verse 7, “For I would have not known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.'” The law is in place so that we would KNOW how sinful we are & then seek forgiveness & cleansing from sin through Jesus. Some believe the lie that the law’s purpose is to save them.

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

Have you realized your need for a Savior? Have you been seeking saving from something or someone other than Jesus? Understanding your sin is your first step. Maybe you have never asked for forgiveness. God WANTS you! He loves & desires a relationship with you! Do not wait another minute. Break up with sin. Freedom and life comes through faith in Jesus alone. Repent & move on with Jesus.

If you are a Christ follower, this is still practical for you. Are you trying to earn God’s acceptance? I struggled for years trying to please God with good works. I thought that the only way God loved me is if I did everything right. That’s an exhausting place to be. It’s a place that only leads to disappointment & not freedom. God loves you & He loves me regardless of what we do or do not do! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. Don’t beat yourself up over your sin but don’t flirt with it either! Like that bad ex, move on! Walk away from that sin & run into your Savior’s arms!

You’ll never be able to do it all on your own.

Rely on Him alone. Rely on God’s strength, the Holy Spirit’s power in you, & Jesus’ words to truly experience the life God has for you.

Chapter Seven {verses 13-25}

What is this passage saying?

Paul is exposing his heart to us in these last verses. He grips boldness as he spills his heart. “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” Then, this is the part that really comforts me, “for I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells”

I am kidding myself if I think that I am a good person. Without Jesus, we are just sinful and weak. That totally blows the self-righteous belief right out the window. We are ALL in need of a Savior because we are all sinful. Until Jesus returns & makes all things new, we will always struggle.

Have you ever been there? Have you ever wondered why you keep on committing the same sin over and over? You know what you should do but you do the complete opposite?! You are in good company! Instead of God beating us down & leaving us spinning in this cycle of sin, He graciously and preciously gives us the strength we need every single day. He understands. Although we are new creations in Christ, we are still covered with human skin and this skin is soaked in sin. It’s in our DNA. We won’t be able to get away from it. We can try and try and try again. That’s why a daily relationship with Jesus is so important!

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

Your walk with Christ isn’t a to-do list. It’s a friendship, a relationship. It’s just as real as the relationship you have with your spouse, parents, or best friend. It’s just a perfect version of a friendship. Jesus won’t ever let you down, mislead you, or lead you down the wrong path. His advice is perfect, his company is warm & fulfilling, & his words are sweet to the soul. He is amazing.

Realizing that you will never be perfect or good enough is the only way to be more intimate with God. He accepts our mess with open arms. He is big enough to handle our sins & our failures. He is the answer to every question & the antidote to every sick soul. He is faithful. He will give you joy & purpose!

Be comforted that you are not alone! You are not alone in this journey. And it’s definitely a journey. We arrive at our desired destination and will be made perfect, without sin, only when Jesus comes back or we go home to meet Him. Until then, it’s a fight. It’s a battle. It’s a journey. You’re going to fall and trip and trip again. You’re going to be exhausted. You’re going to want to turn around. Don’t. You’re not alone in this journey. We have each other, brother & sister. And we have the Greatest Friend & Strength on our side.

Ready-to-forgive, loving, strong, & compassionate Jesus ❤

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Join us back here next week to cover CHAPTER EIGHT!

You are loved!

-Katie

 

Summer Bible Study: Romans // 5 & 6

I was broken yet in my brokenness, Jesus picked up all of my pieces. I was made whole by the one who loves me wholly. He put me back together & called me His beloved child. Not because I did anything to deserve this. You see, it was quite the opposite. I was an enemy of God.

I was an enemy of God because of my sinfulness. I was blinded by the lust of this world, drowning in this sea of self that trickled down to hell. And at my worst state, God saw me. His eyes looked upon ME. And He loved me in that moment. He loved me enough to save me. Enough to swoop me up out of that ocean of sin that I was drowning in. Jesus Savior, magnificent. Jesus, the life saver of every sinful soul. God gave that precious spotless Lamb away to be slaughtered. Why? Because God Himself loves us so passionately and so supernaturally.

You can cross out every “I” & “me” in those paragraphs above and add in your own name because it is true. This story of love & loss & redemption on a cross isn’t just for the holidays. You see, it’s everything. It’s life. It’s truth. It’s the only truth in this world. How do I know this? Because I experienced it & I believe. & as much as you and I do not deserve it, God loves us, along with every other human being on earth so purely & personally, He loves us. And He wants us to be in relationship with Him because He made us & said it was good. & Jesus Christ, God in the flesh of man, is the way into that perfect union with the Father.

It’s through faith in Jesus that we are declared righteous & able to stand confidently in the presence of God Himself.

This is the beautiful story of redemption for mankind.

This is what Paul is writing to us in Romans 5 & 6.

This week of review is going to be a little different. Because these two chapters are packed full of truth & gratefulness, I want you to spend some time in prayer with God. One on one. Just you & Him. Find some time alone to be with him. Get on your face before our Father & bask in His glory!

Thank Him for His love to you

Thank Him for His goodness

Thank Him for making a way

Thank Him for the Cross

Praise Him for His grace

Praise Him for His mercy

Praise Him for His words of truth

Praise Him for His freedom

Ask Him for forgiveness

Ask Him for a clean heart

Ask Him for a closer relationship

Ask Him for His glory

You are alive through Christ, dead to your sin!

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