Romans Devotional

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Day 57 - Smooth Talk

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Reading: Romans 16:17-20

Reflective Thoughts

Smooth talk

Type the words "false teacher" into Google's search engine, and you'll find 2.3 million results on the web. Depending on whose calling whom a false teacher and for what reason, you may even find one of your favorite Bible teachers or evangelists on the list!

Paul, however, is not warning the Roman believers against teachers whose views on certain issues might be slightly off-center. Rather, he asks believers to be observant and attentive against those who deliberately deceive the unsuspecting with flattery and smooth talk. Their motive is not to serve Christ but to benefit themselves. The result is division between brothers and sisters and stumbling blocks to living out the faith. Their teaching and practices are contrary to what the believers have learned about Christ and the gospel.

How prepared are we to compare and contrast teaching that sounds really good against what we already know? Do you practice anchoring your faith directly to the Word of God, so that you won't be vulnerable to deception? Today is a great day to start.

Day 56 - Between the Lines

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Reading: Romans 16:1-16

Reflective Thoughts

Between the lines

These sixteen verses in Romans are probably as frequently dismissed as the lists of genealogies throughout the Bible. But between the lines are stories of real people who weren't rock stars. They were just faithful. Let me introduce you to a few:

Meet Phoebe, likely a widow. As a woman, she was quite deficient of respect from her culture. Not so in God's eyes. She was a servant of the church and probably held the honor of personally delivering Paul's letter! Meet Urbanus, whose name was common to slavery, yet he is an equal worker with Paul in the Lord. Meet an entire household of slaves who belonged to Aristobulus, the grandson of Herod! Meet another household of slaves from a somewhat shady character named Narcissus. It is likely they served the Emperor Claudius after Nero's death. God places His people everywhere.

The list goes on, but you get the point: men who risked everything; women who humbly walked in divine appointments; slaves who were fellow heirs with the King of Kings. God uses the weak and foolish things of the world to shame the wise!What stories will be read between the lines of your name?

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