The Gospel of The Kingdom Pt.2 (Romans 1:16)

Scriptures: Romans 1:15-17, 15:19, Matthew 24:14

Continuing on with Apostle Paul’s greeting and introduction to the believers in Rome he states,

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is God’s power working unto salvation to everyone who believes…(v.16)

The gospel is the greatest story ever told. It is the true account of the Creator (of creation itself) coming down to dwell with His creation, being killed by His creation so that the enemy of His creation could be defeated once and for all, resulting in the creation being reconciled back to the Creator. What motivated this monumental act? Love.

So this story of love, this gospel, has within it the power to actually save a person(s) from the enemy of mankind, sin. Yes, the devil is mankind’s enemy too but the devil cannot separate you from God, only sin can, and the devil uses sin to take people into eternal torment. When Jesus died, He literally became the embodiment of sin and because God is the most powerful being in existence, sin and all it’s effects were defeated (think of the end of The Matrix when Neo literally leaps into Agent Smith and then busts out him thus defeating Agent Smith).

It sounds crazy that to be saved from an eternity apart from God in everlasting torment all one has to do is believe in this message, but that’s the beauty if it. It’s like it’s too good to be true. The reality is that it’s SO GOOD THAT’S IT’S TRUE! The stumbling block for anyone wanting to believe this truth is belief itself. If all I have to do is believe it seems too easy and thus foolish and something to be ashamed of believing because I’m not working hard enough to earn it.

But something happens when you believe the simplicity of the gospel, it changes you. You may not be able to pinpoint exactly when it happens but as you “lean into” this simple truth day-by-day, the power of the message infiltrates your life. Instead of judgement, ridicule, and hate you feel acceptance, encouragement, and love for who you are based on you being a human being. All of sudden you realize that the pain and mistakes of your past (and even your present) cannot bear under weight of this burning truth: God loves me for who I am, not what I’ve done.

The Gospel wants and has the power to save everyone and everything. The Gospel wants to save everything so it can put an end to the oppression of the enemy on mankind. The Gospel can end human trafficking. The Gospel can end apartheid. The Gospel can end overt and covert racism. The Gospel can end rape, murder, and abuse. The Gospel is Jesus Christ and everybody wants a king like Jesus and that’s nothing to be ashamed of for it is the power of God to save!

Declaration: I am not ashamed of the Gospel!

Sharing The Gospel (Romans 1:10-15)

Other scriptures referenced: John 1:14, 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:13

Paul’s eagerness to preach and share the gospel was almost unparalleled in the early church and even now it’s quite encouraging to read of his adventures in sharing Jesus with the known world, but times are different so how can we share the gospel with the fervency of the Apostle Paul? Let’s demystify the notion of sharing the gospel.

Though Paul, at times, did stand in front of many people preaching and trying to persuade people to the gospel (cold-calling) he was his most effective when he demonstrated the power of God through the gifts of the Spirit and when he built a relationship. Paul sought to connect with people so his connection would open the door for the message of the One who came to save the world. Right relationships are built on love and love was the motivating factor in God sending Jesus to save us.

The Gospel is Jesus and Jesus is love, grace, and truth, possessing the fullness of the Godhead in bodily form, and Christians (humble believers in Jesus) have Jesus living inside them through the Holy Spirit. Thus the gospel is sharing love to others, believers and non-believers alike. Showing love builds relationships, which opens the door for honest and heartfelt communication. What can be more heartfelt and honest than sharing the message of Jesus Christ through our words and deeds? Paul was a slave to this kind of gospel.

Sharing the gospel is not a numbers game, trying to manipulate people to pray a prayer and add another notch to our spiritual belt. Jesus and Paul, and many other apostles gave out love for love’s sake with pure motives. When people sense that we genuinely care for them for no other reason than they are a person worthy of love, the Gospel is being preached. A message of faith, hope, and love can be accepted when the person sharing the message exemplifies faith, hope, and above all love. Now I can understand how a message like the gospel cannot be contained! Like Paul we are eager to share this Gospel!

Declaration: The Gospel is faith, hope, and love to everyone who experiences it, and my life exemplifies the Gospel. Therefore, I will share it with everyone I know.

Lay Aside Every Weight

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us

Hebrews 12:1 (AMP)

Many times as believers we have a difficult time laying aside weights or things that can entangle us because we are often motivated by the spirit of fear.  At times the spirit of fear can even cripple us from moving forward. For example… in an unhealthy relationship we may fear that if we lay that relationship down, or let it go that it may cause us to walk alone. Or, if we lay down the weight of our worldy pleasures that we enjoy, then it will leave an unfulfilled void in our lives.

In order to truly take charge of our lives and loose (lay down) the weight we have to move from a place of fear to an act of faith, knowing that as we obey the word of God we will receive exactly what He has ordained for our life. It takes a lot of courage to let go of the known and step out into the unknown, but it’s only then that we can truly be a doer of the word by moving forward on our appointed course of the race that is set before us.

Declaration: I will lay aside every weight! (repeat every day of the week)

Prayer: Father we thank you for helping us identify areas and weights in our lives that we need to lay aside.  We thank You for your strength and power to completely lay down the weights and carry out the instructions that you have given us.  We bind the work of the enemy who uses the spirit of fear to control and we release the spirit of freedom from every weight and bondage on our lives.  We thank you that once we lay down these weights we will never pick them up again but we will move forward in confidence and faith knowing that your way and your word is perfect!

We ask these things in the mighty name of Jesus! Amen

The Gospel of The Kingdom Pt. 1

Scriptures: Romans 1:15-17, 15:19; Matt. 24:14

In the first part of Romans chapter 1, the Apostle Paul was writing to the believers in Rome and letting them know how eager he was to come to Rome and preach the gospel (v.15). He goes on to say that he is not ashamed of the gospel because it is literally the power of God for salvation to anybody who believes no matter what race, sex, sexual preference, etc. a person may be (v.16).

When Jesus was on Earth, a little bit before Paul was writing this letter, He (Jesus) also preached the gospel. Gospel means “good news” and all this good news points to Jesus. So Paul, like Jesus, preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. What is this Gospel of the Kingdom? Paul said in the chapter 15, that to fully preach the gospel included both words and deeds (like signs, wonders, miracles, healings, deliverances, etc.). Make note that the Gospel of the Kingdom, Christ, or anything else related to God/Jesus is “good news” that included words and actions filled with power from the Holy Spirit.

The gospel as we know it now is that Jesus Christ, Son of God, came down to Earth as fully human and fully God to live a sinless life, to die for the sins of the world and rise three days later having beat sin, death, and hell. What’s mind-blowing about this is that Jesus was preaching this eternal reality even before it had happened on Earth yet! Jesus was able to free people from the sickness, demons, even death before He had taken His own three-day power nap. Jesus understood what is available for all believers now, that He sits in heavenly places and has the resources of Heaven to fix earthly problems.

The Apostle Paul understood this truth and preached this Gospel, this Jesus, in fullness (word and deed) and as this Gospel was received it transformed every place Paul went and released it. In light of that, how could he ever be ashamed of this Gospel when it is the power to destroy darkness wherever it may be living!

Declaration: In the words of Apostle Paul: “I am not ashamed of this Gospel for it is the power of God!”

The Romans Bible Study Page!

Hello High Praise family, I want to make sure everyone is aware of our added page to the blog. The Romans Bible Study is taking place during our Wednesday night services for the month of March at High Praise Ministries.

The Romans Bible Study page can be located directly underneath our High Praise Ministries banner to right of the “About” page on the home page of this Daily Bread blog. It’s important for you to know that since the Romans Bible Study page is actually a separate page and not a blog posting you will not get an email when it is updated. Therefore, you will have to access the page on your phone, tablet, or computer by coming to this site hpdailybread.wordpress.com. The Romans Bible Study page will be updated Tuesdays and Fridays for the month of March. We will also have some devotional posts focused on the Romans teaching we are experiencing on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.

Happy reading and we pray this helps in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

HP Devotional Team

Where’s Your Focus?

Ariel view of the Grand Canyon

Scriptures to read: Hebrews 10:11-14, Romans 5:20

What if I were to say sin isn’t a big deal, how would you respond? What if I were to tell you God isn’t as concerned with your sin as He is concerned about you, how would you respond to that?

These statements might sound dead wrong and foolish when your focus is on sin. But what happens when grace is introduced into the conversation? Let’s use an illustration. If I had a small rock, the size of my palm, in my hand and I examined it throughly it would be safe to say that the rock is the object of my attention. I look at it from every angle and even put it under a microscope to see the tiny individual grains that make up the rock, up close and personal. My vision is totally enamored by this small rock.

Now I take this same rock travel to the Grand Canyon, get to the edge of cliff, and throw the rock over the cliff. Two things just happened: 1) In the deepness of the Grand Canyon, I can no longer see the rock and 2) My focus turns to the absolute beauty, awe-inspiring wonder that is the Grand Canyon.

The small rock is our sin, and it’s small because Jesus solved the problem of sin when He died on the cross and rose three days later with all power in his hand. But when we examine and put our sin under a microscope all we see is our sin it becomes big and it gets more attention than God. We want to change but we are using our sin as the motivation instead of God’s grace as the motivation to change. That’s like me staring at a donut for motivation to eat healthy or lose weight. All I see is the donut so I want to eat the donut! Wrong motivation!

The Grand Canyon is grace. It’s massive, deep, beautiful, and literally swallows up that tiny rock called sin. When we switch our focus from the sin to the awesome wonder of grace we become grace-full!

Declaration: Jesus is grace and He died for my past sins, my present sins, and my future sins. Therefore my sin is already taken care of. From this day forward Jesus will be the focal point of my life!