Devotions 2015

Rom 14-16

December 11, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Romans 14 is similar to Paul’s teaching to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. While disciples of Jesus today do not live under the Law, Paul makes the point that our freedom should not be harmful to other believers.

Paul becomes very practical and personal […]

Rom 11-13

December 10, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

In Romans 11 Paul continues his discussion about God’s missional plan for Israel (Romans 9-10) and how this relates to the other nations of the world. This chapter is more forward looking, anticipating the completion of the plan begun in Abraham.

Romans 12 initiates a new […]

Rom 8-10

December 9, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Romans 8 gives the answer to the frustration expressed in Romans 7. The answer to our struggle with our sinful nature is to be controlled by God’s Spirit. Paul explains what this means and the glorious life and future that we have because of God’s Spirit that lives […]

Rom 4-7

December 8, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

In Romans 4 Paul uses the example of Abraham, father of the Jewish nation, to show that we are saved by faith not by works. Abraham is blessed before he is circumcised. The blessing comes from believing God. Likewise, the blessing of Isaac, the son of his old […]

Rom 1-3

December 7, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Paul probably wrote this letter to the Romans from Corinth around 57 AD. He’s not been to Rome yet, but clearly has a great desire to go. By this time the Gospel is freely flowing through the Roman world and has reached the capital. As we have seen […]

2 Cor 10-13

December 6, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

We have learned that Paul has enemies in Corinth, some of them even within the church. In chapters 10-11 Paul turns his attention to addressing some of the attacks leveled against him. Chapter 11 makes application of these conflicts and warns the Corinthians against false teachers with personal […]

2 Cor 5-9

December 5, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

In chapter 5 Paul continues his emphasis on an eternal focus, using the figure of a tent to illustrate, pointing to love as our motivation and transformation as our new reality. Having led them through a wide range of conflicts and issues, Paul urges the Corinthians to a […]

2 Cor 1-4

December 4, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Not more than a year after his first letter, Paul writes a second to the Corinthians. The historical circumstances of all that happen in the interim between the two are a bit difficult to piece together briefly, but suffice it to say that as Paul writes this letter […]

1 Cor 15-16

December 3, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

The classic passage in the Bible on the resurrection of Jesus Christ is 1 Corinthians 15. Paul defends the historicity of the resurrection by listing eyewitnesses still alive at the time of his writing (15:1-11). Paul then defends the necessity of the resurrection, the very essence of our […]

1 Cor 12-14

December 2, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

This section of three chapters focuses on spiritual gifts. Chapter 12 deals with the diversity of spiritual gifts and functions within the body of Christ and how each member in particular works together in the assembly of believers. No one is more or less important than another and […]

1 Cor 9-11

December 1, 2015

Devotions December|

What does it say?

Paul had his detractors in Corinth that challenged his apostolic authority. Chapter 9 defends his apostleship and replies especially to those challenging his right to remuneration for his ministry, though he personally never took advantage of that right in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 10 is a warning […]

1 Cor 5-8

November 30, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

Chapter 5 deals with an issue of open incest between a son and his stepmother that the church refused to address. Corinth had a culture of excessive litigation and the Corinthian disciples are not hesitant to sue each other (1Cor 6). Paul admonishes them to have the wisdom […]

1Cor 1-4

November 29, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

This letter is probably written by Paul from Ephesus around 54 AD, and reflects the state of the church Paul began there during his 18-month stay recorded in Acts 18. Paul is receiving reports from Corinth that indicate conflict in the church (1:11). Later (7:1; 16:16) it seems […]

Acts 18-19

November 28, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

Following his time in Athens, Paul travels to Corinth where he ministers in the synagogue and a new church results. Here, Paul meets the husband and wife team of Aquila and Pricilla. After a lengthy ministry in Corinth, Paul returns to Antioch via Ephesus and Caesarea, leaving Aquila […]

1 & 2 Thes

November 27, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

Having just seen Paul’s visit to Thessalonica in Acts 17, our reading of 1 and 2 Thessalonians is appropriate. Thessalonica in northern Greece is the second city in importance only behind Athens, both in the first century and to this day (Thessaloniki).

Paul’s opening (1The 1) celebrates […]

Acts 17

November 26, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

Acts 17 finds Paul and Silas in Thessalonica where the Gospel goes forth with great power beginning in the synagogue and extending to the Gentiles. The unbelieving Jews mount opposition against the apostles and they move on Berea where the people receive God’s words more readily and are […]

Gal 4-6

November 25, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

In Galatians 4 Paul continues his explanation of law and grace. He says that the Law of Moses was given of God to accomplish a missional purpose – as a teacher to show us our need of complete justification accomplished only by the sacrificial work of Christ. God […]

Gal 1-3

November 24, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

Galatians are inhabitants of a geographical area known as Galatia, the southern part of which was a Roman province (all in modern Turkey). Derbe and Lystra where Paul met Timothy are in Galatia as well as other cities mentioned in Acts. Paul probably wrote this epistle from Antioch […]

Acts 15-16

November 23, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

The tension between Jewish believers and Gentiles comes to a head in Acts 15. Paul and Barnabas travel from Antioch to Jerusalem to meet with church leaders and determine how to minimize these conflicts. Hearing first-hand reports from the missionary journey, all agree that Gentiles do not have […]

James 1-5

November 22, 2015

Devotions November|

What does it say?

Though we cannot say definitely, it would appear that the author of this book is James, the half-brother of Jesus and brother of Jude. This is the traditional view since the early centuries and the opinion of most scholars. It is included here in our chronological reading because […]