Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good

Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—

When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.[a] He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.

Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees[b] or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. 10 If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them. 11 For people like that have turned away from the truth, and their own sins condemn them.  Titus 3:1-11

The apostle Paul declares that we are to submit to those in governing authority.  It is God who raises up kings and tears them down.  We are called to be gentle and do all things in love.  We are called to pray for those in leadership.  This world is not our home and because of this we are only here for a very short period of time.  Our focus must be upon the Lord and His kingdom.  We shall rule and reign with Him someday.

All of us at one time were steeped and wickedness and sin.  All of us are born into sin and we must never forget that we are saved and redeemed simply because of the grace and mercy of Almighty God.  He chose to save us because of His love for us.  He chose to lavish His grace upon us.  This truth alone should guard our hearts from arrogance and pride.

Our lives should be impacted by the truth of God’s word.  When our lives are built upon sound doctrines the decisions we make and the way we live our lives will bring glory and honor to the Lord.  When we come to Christ our lives no longer belong to us.  They belong to Him and should simply be lived for His glory and His honor.

We are to guard against false teaching and those who merely desire to cause division in the body of Christ.  Sometimes there are those who have wicked intentions and we must discern through the Holy Spirit the motives of a person.  As we walk closely with the Lord through His word and prayer we will become sensitive to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

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The greatest of these is love

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

These three remain: faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.  This is an incredible and power scripture and statement.  There is nothing that compares to the love of God.  It is God’s love that led Him to create humanity and it is God’s love that led him to put in place the plan of salvation because He knew that Adam and Eve would choose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

It was His love that led Him to come to this earth and it was His love that held Him to the cross.  As we grow in Him we come to know His love and it transforms our lives.  So many in the world today desire to know what true love is.  They seek after the emptiness of this world and the entire time they are placing themselves in greater bondage as they partake of the wickedness and deception of the enemy.

But in Christ we find true love.  In Christ we find who we truly are.  In Christ we find the destiny and plan that God has for our lives and it changes everything.  We learn to rest in His love for us.  We learn to let go of this world and its desires.  Every desire of the world is simply a road to destruction.  But as we set aside the things of sin and wickedness for the glory of God we come to find true love that is only found in Jesus Christ.

Concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, [a]called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of a [b]descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power [c]by the resurrection from the dead, according to the [d]Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship [e]to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as [f]saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 1:1-7

This is quite the introduction to the book of Romans.  The apostle Paul begins by listing himself and refers to himself as a bond servant.  The apostle Paul more than anyone understood that his salvation was simply a result of the grace of God.  Paul didn’t deserve salvation like all of us, but the Lord chose and set him a part for God’s plans and His purposes.  The apostle Paul was chosen by the Lord to establish the foundation and begin to take the gospel to the uttermost.

Throughout the old testament we are given prophecies that point to the messiah who is to come.  The nation of Israel thought their messiah would be a conquering king like king David and failed to understand that Jesus had to come and give His life so that they could be set free from the slavery of sin.  But when we examine many of the prophecies that speak about the coming Messiah and we look and examine the life of Jesus Christ we see that He fulfilled every prophecy that concerned His first coming and will one day finish the rest when He returns to establish His kingdom.

Through the linage established in Matthew and Luke we see that Jesus was indeed a descendant of King David.  God established a covenant with King David that he would always have a descendant to rule upon the throne and this was fulfilled through Jesus Christ.  For there is coming a day when Jesus shall return and established His kingdom upon the earth.  The linage of Jesus in Matthew follows the line through Joseph, while the linage in Luke follows the linage through Mary.  God so orchestrated all things to fulfill His sovereign will and His purposes.

It was the resurrection that once and for all truly proved that Jesus was indeed the Messiah.  Yes when Jesus walked the earth He did many miracles and John even writes that if everything Jesus did was written down there would be enough books to contain the accounts.  But through the resurrection Jesus demonstrated His Lordship and authority over death and the grave.  Because of the resurrection we know that Jesus lives forevermore and that because of the resurrection that nothing is impossible.  It is the resurrection and Calvary that is foundational and central to the truth of the gospel message.

Paul knew that it was only by grace that he was called to be an apostle.  He didn’t choose to be an apostle and he hadn’t done anything to earn it.  But because of God’s grace and mercy Paul was given the high calling of taking the gospel to the gentiles.  Before Paul every came to know Christ, he was a man driving to destroy Christianity.  But on that day on the Damascus road his life would be changed for an eternity and he would be used to write a majority of the New Testament and establish the foundation of Christianity.

We who are in Christ today and for every believer throughout history who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ are only saved by the grace and mercy of Almighty God.  None of us have done anything to earn our salvation.  No of us have been deserving of salvation.  We are simply saved by the grace of God and when we remember and understand this truth we will always walk in humility throughout our life on this earth.

Those who come to faith in Jesus Christ is the definition of a saint.  Being referred to as a saint is not something earned.  A saint is simply a sinner saved by grace.  Some have distorted this and made it seem the church determines who are saints and that some how it is by merit.  But this is simply a distortion of the truth.  Anyone who comes to Christ and receives Him as Lord and Savior are a saint.  Our righteousness is not established by our works or the way we live our lives, but it is simply found in the perfection of who Jesus is.  As we grow in Christ the nature and character of Christ is established within us and we develop and outward righteousness.

Bearing with one another in love

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:2 NIV

We are called to bear with one another in love.  All of us are broken and being progressively transformed by the Lord.  Because we are all human and the body of Christ is made up of people there are going to be times when people make mistakes and people offend on another.

But for us to truly walk in unity and agreement with one another we must be gentle and humble.  The greatest thing that causes division in the body of Christ is pride and arrogance.  When we walk in pride and arrogance we are blinded to the deceptions of the enemy.  Satan time and again has invaded the body of Christ and brought division.  But God is calling us to be the sons and daughters He has destined us to be.  To be a people filled with His love, grace, and mercy.

An essential component of this is patience.  Again because all of us are human and all of us are broken, mistakes will be made.  Too many times we have this lofty ideal that the body of Christ is some how going to be perfect.  But the body of Christ is filled with people from all different backgrounds and at different places in their spiritual growth.  We must focus our hearts and minds daily upon the Lord and His kingdom if we desire to walk in unity and love.  For when our lives are fixed on Jesus and we are abiding in Him, we will walk in His love and His grace.  We will be able to forgive one another and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.  May we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  May we be simply willing to love one another.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:12-13 NIV

The apostle Paul makes it very clear that our battle is not against flesh and blood.  Many times it is easy to get focused on those who may persecute us or oppose us because of the name of Jesus.  But behind every opposition to the gospel is Satan and his demonic forces.

When Satan rebelled against God’s rule in heaven he deceived a third of the angels to follow after him in his rebellion (Revelation 12:3-4).  These angels that followed Satan during his rebellion has become the demonic spirits that serve him today and carry out his plans and purposes.

But we are not called to fear the enemy nor live in fear.  We are called to put on the armor of God and take our stand.  We are called to stand against the wickedness of the enemy and use the weapons God has given us to advance His kingdom.

Our weapons are not physical but spiritual weapons (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).  Through prayer and the truth of God’s word we have the ability to advance God’s kingdom anywhere upon the earth.  But it requires prayer and the truth of God’s word to advance God’s kingdom, without them it is impossible.

When we understand that we are at war and we are a soldier in God’s army it changes the way we live on a daily basis.  Through Christ we have been given authority and must use that authority in the place of prayer.

Dwell on these things

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8 NASB

We are called to fix our eyes upon Jesus and set our minds and hearts on God’s kingdom.  We live in a world filled with darkness.  It is very easy to become consumed with the darkness of our times.  But we have been set free from the darkness and wickedness of the world.  As we grow in our knowledge of the Lord and His word, our minds become fixed upon the Lord.

The human mind is an incredible thing.  It is where decisions are made on a daily basis.  The battles we face on a daily basis take place in our minds.  We are consistently tempted by the enemy to return to the world and the things of wickedness.  But we must continue to set our minds above on the Lord and His kingdom.

Our minds and our thinking is transformed as we spend time daily in God’s word.  As we read God’s word and meditate upon God’s word, it is the Holy Spirit who pours revelation into our hearts and minds.  It is the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth.  We can grow as deep as we desire to go in our understanding of God’s word.  It simply depends on how much we are willing to pour into the study of His word.  As we grow each day in the place of prayer and the study of His word, we continue to go deeper in our relationship with God.

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:1-6

The apostle Paul calls us to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Our lives should be lived with one purpose and that is to simply glorify and honor the name of Jesus.  We are called to be holy because the Lord is holy.  Holiness is simply living in the character and nature of Jesus Christ.  This only happens as we abide in the Lord daily and grow in our relationship with Him.

We are called to be completely humble and gentle.  When we examine what the apostle Paul is writing we see he is simply writing about the character and nature of Christ.  The character of Christ is contrary to the way the world works.  Those who seek after the pleasures and emptiness of the world are filled with the darkness of the world.  But those who seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness will have a life filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

We are called to do all things to keep the unity we have in the body of Christ.  It is pride and arrogance that bring division and strife to the body of Christ.  But when our focus is upon Christ alone and His kingdom we will be filled with the grace and love of God which will lead naturally to unity and peace.

It is amazing toward the end of this passage how many times the apostle Paul uses the word one.  In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile.  There is neither black nor white.  For in Christ we are one body.  One of the main issues the apostle Paul is confronting is the division that existed between Jew and Gentile in the body of Christ.

For when we view one another through the eyes of Christ we will see the beauty of every brother and sister that exist in the body of Christ.  We must be led by the Spirit and walk according to the Spirit.  For when we walk according to the Spirit we will have unity and love filling our hearts.  We will be one family and army in Christ.  There is incredible power that is released into the earth when God’s sons and daughters simply walk in unity and do all things in unity.  May our eyes be focused upon the Lord always and may we simply seek Him with our whole heart.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people

11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  Titus 2:11-14

We are called to live in righteousness and holiness.  Jesus is returning for a people who are prepared and have made themselves ready.  Those who are continuing to draw near to Christ on a daily basis are fleeing the wickedness and darkness of the world.  The wickedness of this world continues to grow day by day and is more available to people on a greater basis.

But those who have fully given their hearts to Christ recognize the hour in which they find themselves.  The Lord has given us warning after warning in His word about being prepared.  Just like in the day of Noah when Noah warned the people time and time again as he built the ark for the coming flood, believers today warn unbelievers time and time again as they live for Christ on a daily basis.

The greatest testament we have to the truth of Jesus Christ is a life transformed for His glory.  It is a life that is filled with His love, grace, and mercy.  God’s love and grace cannot be counterfeited.  May we daily prepare our hearts and understand how close we are to the return of the Lord for His bride.  May we be a people who hunger and thirst after righteousness.  May we seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

Galatians 6:7-8: A man reaps what he sows

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.  Galatians 6:7-8

What we sow into our lives is what we shall reap.  The apostle Paul makes a distinction between the flesh and the Spirit.  Sowing to the flesh is simply indulging in the lust of the flesh.  When our lives are built upon simply seeking after and fulfilling the lust of the flesh, it will ultimately lead to destruction.

What many fail to understand is the destructiveness and deceptiveness of sin.  When we begin to indulge in sin it is like a snake that begins to wrap itself around us.  The more we indulge the more it wraps itself around us and eventually begins to suck the very life out of us.  We get so focused on fulfilling the sinful desires within us that ultimately it will destroy our lives.

But when we sow to the Spirit we grow in the nature and character of Christ.  Sowing in the Spirit is simply following the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Examples of sowing to the Spirit are things like studying God’s word, spending time in prayer, spending time with fellow believers, sharing our faith, ministering to those in need.

When our lives are built upon following the leading of the Holy Spirit we will experience the abundant life that Jesus proclaimed.  We are saved by the grace of God, but it requires us each day to walk with Christ and seek after Him.  There have been some who have begun with Christ, but in the end have abandoned the faith and the Lord.

Growing in Christ requires effort on our part.  It requires us to chase after and seek after the Lord.  Every day we have on this earth is either an opportunity to grow in Christ or move away from Him.  A true disciple is one who walks closely with the Lord on a daily basis.  May we commit ourselves to daily seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  That we will continually sow to the Spirit and resist the lust of the flesh.

Ephesians 3:20-21: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:20-21

There are no limits with the Lord.  The more we come to understand God and His kingdom through the study of His word, the more it truly shapes the way we pray.  We come to fully understand the authority we have through Jesus Christ.  We understand that we have the honor and privilege to be able to impact nations for His kingdom.  There are no limits because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Through Jesus death and resurrection He has overcome death and the grave.  He holds all authority in His hands and has given us authority through our faith and trust in Him.  He has given us authority that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  He is calling us to pray forth His will in the earth and see His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

So many limit God because they don’t know Him.  They claim to follow Christ but are ignorant of God’s word and His promises.  May we diligently study the scriptures each day and seek the Holy Spirit for greater wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and revelation.  Every time we go to the Lord in prayer and seek His face there are things that are released into our lives that we don’t fully understand.  May we simply pray and seek His face daily and continue to grow in our relationship with Him.