May 16, 2017

Please use the comment section at the bottom of this page to share insights from today’s reading OR your own personal Bible reading.

Reading along with us in Romans? Here’s today’s reading:

Romans 16 (ESV)

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me… Continue Reading

*If you click “Continue Reading”, you will leave this page and navigate to “bible.com” where you can read the rest of the chapter. Be sure to come back to this page to share what God has revealed to you by commenting below. 

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This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Boy, I hope Paul didn’t forget anyone…. :). It’s great to give shout outs to those we appreciate. I confess I do that too little!!!

    Also important is the warning against those who cause divisions and put obstacles in our way. We are to keep away from them or at least don’t fall under their influence if you can’t keep away.

    I also like being wise in what is good and innocent about what is evil. It’s okay to be embarrassed at times when we don’t get the joke or know the things the world does.

  2. As Paul finishes his letter to the Romans, right in the middle of all his greetings, he plants this warning:

    “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” Romans 16:17-20

    Anyone remember Waco, Texas? David Koresh? The “Waco Siege” and all those lives lost? I remember being around 30 years old, the siege on the news day and night. There were interviews with David Koresh, footage of him leading Bible studies, interviews with seemingly intelligent men and women who believed in his message. Listening to him, and looking into his eyes, I realized something about myself that I’d been accused of for years: I was naive. He was mesmerizing. Had I had the misfortune of living in Waco and meeting him before the siege, I may very well have fallen under his spell. I recall being stunned at this self-realization, yet I didn’t know how to protect myself — other than changing my default setting to “Don’t trust a word anyone says, ever.” I became a skeptic.

    Fast forward just a few years later, to 1999. Scott had been born again, and as nice as all his fellow Christians were, I wasn’t falling for anything they had to say. But I began studying the Scriptures on my own, and soon realized the Branch Davidians had missed a number of clear warnings.

    Here’s a big one: Jesus said, “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:23-27

    The more I studied the Scriptures on my own, the more I recognized all the false teachings I’d encountered, read, and heard over the years from people who professed faith in Christ! How about those “prophets” who give dates for Christ’s return? Jesus said, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36)

    In another letter, Paul wrote, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. ” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

    How susceptible are we to believing false teaching because it “tickles our ears”? How sensitive are we to accepting subtle (or even glaring) distortions of Scripture? Do we turn away from sound teaching and doctrine because we don’t “like” it, or we don’t “feel good” when it’s taught? Would we be able to recognize something is “off” when a leader, teacher, pastor, or fellow believer says something that doesn’t line up with what the Scriptures teach?

    Do you know God’s Word yourself? Are you a student of the Scriptures? Are you prepared, armed, and equipped to protect yourself — and others — from false teaching?

    False teachers and false prophets abounded in Paul’s day, and they abound now. The church, internet, television, and Amazon are filled with liars and deceivers, many of whom have simply bought their own hype and are now selling it to the rest of the world.

    Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is dangerous.

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