The book of Romans is one of the most theologically rich letters written by the Apostle Paul. Throughout the 16 chapters of this amazing letter, Paul articulates his deep understanding of the Christian faith. In the book of Romans, we are taught some of Paul’s foundational understandings of the faith. Paul takes on topics such as the meaning of the law, salvation, death and so many other questions that cause concern for so many.
The dictionary defines JOY as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” It’s certainly something we all desire. You’ll find the word JOY in the Bible over 200 times.
Have you ever been thinking about someone you have lost perhaps because you saw something that reminds you so much of that person. It often feels like a special message being sent to you from them. Megan Murphy, from Barnstable, Massachusetts, felt this way when she would walk on the beach near where she lives. If she found a heart shaped rock, it would remind her of her dad, and if she found a piece of sea glass, it would remind her of her mom.
I am blessed to come from a musical family. Growing up in church there was always someone in my family in choir. My grandmother was the church pianist and led the choir. I was blessed to share in a small part of the gift of music. I play a few instruments (not very well) and I love to sing. I have spent some time in the church choir and other music ministries. My talent is limited, but I am always willing to share, especially when it comes to worship.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?”
Matthew 16:24 – 26
“Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 3:13-14
My schedule seems to keep me always on the go. I move from one event to the next and from one task to the next. Work, school, dance and church are just a few of the things that fill the slots on our family calendar. With all this busy-ness, I look forward to special days when my family has time together with no outside events planned.
Jesus was always willing to share a meal with the people of the community in which he was preaching. Sometimes it was a meal with his disciples, sometimes with friends. On some occasions the meal was with large crowds and other times with a small group of strangers in the home of a new friend.
How often does a rude remark, an unkind action, or a harsh tone of voice escape your mouth or body? I like to think I’m usually pretty good about thinking before I speak and not letting an outburst get the best of me. But friends, it still happens. And I usually regret it immediately after it is released. Even though there may be validation for our anger or frustration in a situation, it really doesn’t validate our unkindness in those moments.
Life often brings great struggles. Sometimes we experience great trials that were never part of our dreams or plans. When these painful moments arrive in our lives they can make it appear our future, our dreams, will never become a reality. I am sure that is what Becca Salmins’ parents thought as they learned their 6-year-old daughter had cancer.