Good morning and Happy New Year! – A Bible Reading Challenge for a New Year

daily-bible-reading-planJanuary 1, 2017 –  Daily reading assignment: Romans 1-2

I am challenging my church family to take up the discipline of reading through the Bible this New Year. There are several Bible reading plans and programs available; however, the one I am following will study the Scriptures under seven divisions corresponding with the days of the week. The divisions are: 1) Sunday – The Epistles; 2) Monday – The Law; 3) Tuesday – History; 4) Wednesday – Psalms; 5) Thursday – Poetry; 6) Friday – Prophecy; 7) Saturday – The Gospels.

As a pastor, it is my goal to shepherd the flock God has entrusted to my care and use this “Heart of a Shepherd” blog as a platform to amplify and write a devotional thought or challenge that corresponds to each day’s devotional assignment. I invite you to join me in this daily discipline.

Today’s devotional reading is Romans 1-2. Rather than write a devotional, I will amplify a few verses from Romans 1 that paint a portrait of man’s rebellion and sinful depravity.

romans-1-20Romans 1:20  For the invisible things [those things which cannot be perceived with the physical senses] of Him [God] from [since; by means of] the creation of the world are clearly seen [General or Natural revelation; manifest perceived], being understood [His person and power understood by the evidences of His creation] by the things that are made [Creation is a display of God’s power and gives testimony of God’s person], even His eternal power and Godhead [deity; divine nature]; so that they are without excuse [no excuse for idolatry; reveals the folly or worshipping dumb idols – Isaiah 44:8-20]:

Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew [had a knowledge of the Person, Power and Presence of God] God, they glorified him not as God [refused to honor and reverence Him as God], neither were thankful [ingratitude; hard hearted]; but became vain [full of pride; conceited] in their imaginations [thoughts; reasonings; exercising foolish opinions because of their unwillingness to acknowledge God], and their foolish heart [mind; lacking understanding] was darkened [incapable of comprehending Truth].

Romans 1:22  Professing [asserting; declaring] themselves to be wise [“philosophers” – lovers of wisdom; wise in their own estimation], they became fools [void of understanding; lacking any moral sense; incapable of discerning between good and evil],

Romans 1:26  For this cause God gave them up [commended; delivered] unto vile [disgraceful; dishonorable; shameful; degrading] affections [passions; lust; i.e. evil desires]: for even [also] their women did change [exchange; transform] the natural [instinctive; physical; inborn] use [employment; occupation; i.e. sexual intercourse] into that which is against [opposed to; contrary] nature [mankind; the nature of things as God created]:

Romans 1:27  And likewise [similarly; moreover] also the men, leaving [cease; forsake; romasn-1-27abandoned] the natural [instinctive; physical; according to nature] use [employment; occupation; i.e. sexual intercourse] of the woman, burned [inflamed; to set on fire; i.e. raging lust] in their lust [desire; longing; craving] one toward another [continually]; men with men working [doing; performing; committing] that which is unseemly [shameful; indecent; obscene], and receiving [what is due; retribution] in [quickly; shortly; afterwards] themselves [in their own bodies and/or souls] that recompence [penalty; compensation] of their error [straying; delusion; deceit] which was meet [due; binding; necessary; required; inevitable; i.e. must needs be as an exacting of God’s justice].

Romans 1:28  And even as [insomuch as; that] they did not like [refused; did not approve; i.e. were not able] to retain [possess; have; hold] God in their knowledge [memory; recognition], God gave them over [commended; delivered] to a reprobate [worthless; rejected; unworthy; abandoned] mind [thought; feeling; will; understanding], to do those things which are not convenient [becoming; proper; fit; right];

Romans 1:29  Being filled with [satisfied; saturated with] all unrighteousness [wrong; iniquity], fornication [all manner of sexual immorality, including adultery and incest], wickedness [depravity; malice; evil desires], covetousness [greed; extortion; desire to have more], maliciousness [evil; desire to injure]; full of envy [jealousy; wishing ill on another], murder, debate [quarreling; contentiousness; strife], deceit [guile; craftiness; lie], malignity [bad character; dishonorable; attributing to others evil intent]; whisperers [gossips; slanderer; ],

Romans 1:30  Backbiters [slanderers; speaking against another], haters of God, despiteful [insulter; violent aggressor; treating others shamefully], proud [haughty; arrogant; treating others with disdain], boasters [braggart; i.e. swaggerer], inventors of evil things [harmful; depraved; morally wrong], disobedient [hard; not pliable; unteachable] to parents,

Romans 1:31  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Romans 1:32  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith