2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27, Romans 13:1-14, Psalms 23:1-6, Proverbs 20:11
Today is the 30th day of July welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian and it is great to be here with you today as we continue our journey through this week and round the corner and move into the very, very last moments of the month and just continue forward on this voyage that we began all…all these months ago that has brought us to this point. And this point leads us back into the book of second Chronicles as well as back into the letter to the Romans. We’re reading from the New Living Translation this week. Second Chronicles chapters 26, 27, and 28 today.
Okay. As we continue our journey through the book of, or the letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans he continues to kind of flesh out or boil down, really, what he was saying yesterday. So, yesterday he was telling us that like we are living sacrifices and there’s freedom in that and living into that and he gave us some characteristics to look at. And we did. Today we kind of boil it down to the essence of what is required to even be on that journey and that is love. And it’s very unlikely that we…that we don’t understand the concept, that love is the answer, love is what we need. Here…we hear this all the time almost to the point that is cliché and yet it couldn’t be more true. For Paul though this is so important because…because the darkness is fading away and the day of salvation is dawning. And, so, like, it’s important to get this - a world infused with love. This is where it’s all headed. And we can look around us and go, “it seems like it’s not. Like, it seems like it’s going in the other direction. It seems like divisiveness rules the day and it’s hard to find love conquering all.” And yet this is kind of the motion of the whole Bible. This is where we are headed. God is love - the Bible tells us. And Paul’s not really saying like, “so just try harder.” Like, you know, when you’re…when you’re about to act not in love than just stop yourself and changeover and act in love. What he’s kind of bringing out here is that we truly begin to live in love when we realize that we don’t have to live any other way. We have been made new creations. The spirit of the living God is within us. God is love. When we are a living sacrifice then love is what is being poured out of us as God does His bidding in this world through us. And, so, anything that would stop that, anything that would interrupt that is something that Paul says that we should see as like filthy garments, that we should strip those things off and live in love. And for Paul he like gives a little bit of a list of like what this filthy garments, what those behaviors might even look like and uses wild parties and drunkenness and sexual promiscuity and immoral…immorality. And…and we would say, “yeah. Like, yeah. Got it. Got it. Understand. Struggle, but got it. I understand.” But he also says quarreling and jealousy in the same sentence. Quarreling and jealousy are the same category as immorality. Quarreling and jealousy are immoral. Oooo…now we’re kinda getting to the bedrock here. And what is the point though? Why are these filthy garments? Because none of them can be done in love, right? You can’t commit adultery in love. You can’t murder in love. You can’t covet in love. You can’t be jealous in love. It’s the things that we can’t do in love that are filthy things that need to be discarded. And, so, Paul is teaching us what it looks like to live into this new creation that we have been made, this living sacrifice that we are becoming, understanding that, yeah, we can do all of the filthy…like we can do all of those things. We have…we have a will. We can do all of those things but we can’t do them in love, and if we can’t do them in love then we aren’t being a living sacrifice completely available to God for His use in this world as new creations who have been adopted into the divine family of God and are here representing the most-high God to restore and reclaim this world and its people. And, so, so much of what we’ve even come…come across the last couple of days in the book Romans boils down to that simple question. Can I do this in love? Am I loving? Am I loving as I do this? Are those words that are about to spill out of my mouth, do they carry love, right? Because if God is love than what we do in love is of God. And is that not exactly, like precisely what we’re supposed to be doing. And so Paul continues to challenge us. It’s very encouraging because what he’s talking about is what it looks like to be free, to…to let go, to have an identity as a child of the most high God and to not be in competition with anybody else, to love and love and love. And, so, again we have some things to think about and to observe about ourselves as we move into and through this day.
Jesus, we have an example, You. We’ve seen what it looks like to be whole. You set this example for us that we are to live into, and it boils down to our surrender to Your love and our availability for Your love to flow through us. Holy Spirit lead us into what that looks like for us today. Help us catch ourselves when we are stepping off that path. Help us to strip off the filthy garments that hold us back from that, that we might fully be available for Your use in this world. Come Jesus we pray. In Your mighty name we ask. Amen.
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