QT – Romans 3

Vs. 20, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”  The whole world and all who are born in it are born into sin.  If we did not have God’s law, we may not know what sin is.  Because we are born sinners, some will refute that we might as well embrace it (vs. 8), but this is clearly a deception of the enemy.  We reap what we sow.  Jews and Gentiles alike stand before the same God.  It doesn’t matter what race, gender or denomination we claim.  If we were to stand before a jury and judge when asked “Guilty” or “Innocent”, we would have to proclaim “Guilty!”  How can a righteous Judge and God forgive guilty people?  Because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.

Regarding application…Justified by Faith.  Vs. 28, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.”  Even if we could live by the letter of the law and follow all of God’s commandments without fail…it is not a ticket to heaven.  We cannot make it to heaven on our own.  We cannot buy our ticket there either.  It is a gift…and God alone saves.  I thank God that we are not justified by the things we do (works).  If that were the case, we would live this life always wondering and constantly being afraid that we somehow are not making the “A” grade in life.  What privilege it is to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ!  Now, we work hard not for the glory ourselves or the praises of men…but because Jesus loved us so much!  Let Him redeem your heart this week.  Fix your eyes upon Jesus!

QT – Romans 2

Vs. 11, “For God does not show favoritism.”  Paul reminds the Jews and all of us that God’s judgment is righteous.  That He judges not with favoritism, but with justness.  The Jews thought they held the favored status, but it isn’t what you are born into…it is your faith and deeds that will bring God’s grace.  We are also reminded to practice what we preach.  To be a doer not a sayer.

Regarding application…Inside of the Heart.  Vs. 29, “No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart…”  It’s all about starting from the inside out.  We need our hearts circumcised and the spirit of God to cut into our hearts.  Each day that we live without turning to the Lord, our hearts get a little harder.  Thank God that we have His Word to help us keep our hearts soft!

QT – Romans 1

Introduction to Romans:
The book of Romans was written by Paul.  Romans has served as the foundation for the explaining the Christian faith.  It was written while Paul was visiting Corinth around 57 A.D on his third missionary journey.  Romans explains what it means to be justified by faith in Christ Jesus.  It helps to defend God’s righteousness in the world that we live in.  It help us to find our identity in Christ.

Vs. 8, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”  The Romans faith was being reported because they had received the Good News!  Paul reminds us in detail of the Good News in Jesus (vs. 1-7).  Paul was so excited to reach Rome and encourage and be encouraged by them.  We see Paul compare and contrast God’s righteousness with our sinfulness.  To those who are living in sin, this chapter can make us a bit uncomfortable.  Just like the Romans, we know God…but many of us have turned away from Him willingly.  

Regarding application…We Are Without Excuse.  Vs. 20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  The fool says there is no God (Psalm 14:1).  We have been given everything possible to know the Lord Jesus.  He has revealed himself through creation and through the Living Word.  The natural tendency in our lives when confronted with wrong doing is to give an excuse.  It wasn’t my fault, Let me explain, it was their fault…but when we all stand before the Lord one day, we must account for how we lived this life.  Let us humbly allow the Lord in the book of Romans to help us grow in our faith and stop giving excuses to not believe.

QT – Psalm 150

Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD.  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven.”  It is finished….Yes….it is finished.  We started Psalm 1 on June 1st and now here are nearly November.  I wanted to let you all know we will be going forward to the New Testament to Romans 1.  Hallelujah (Praise the Lord…PTL!)….it is a wonderful way to wrap up our series in the book of Psalms!  We PTL for His work in our life, We PTL with our instruments, and we PTL with our voices!

Regarding application…Let Everything.  Vs. 6, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.  Praise the LORD.”  The key word to this is “Let”….with the reality that it is not a command but a deceleration.  It is our choice if we choose to make the decision to PTL.  God does not force us and we are condemned if we don’t everyday.  We were created for many things in this world…but don’t ever take for granted the privilege it is to PTL the Lord daily!  By turning to Him, our big problems of today begin to get smaller because we realize that God is with Us!

QT – Psalm 149

Vs. 6, “May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hand.”  This is considered an exuberant praise psalm and rightly so!  They would sing this psalm before going out to battle.  We are to sing in all walks of life…whether we are in the church, we are in the battlefields of life, or just driving home from school…singing is a powerful tool!

Regarding application…Singing to God.  Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD.  Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints.”  Sometimes I find myself enjoying singing the old praise songs.  There is something comforting in singings songs I already know.  However, there is a joy in discovering and singing new songs!  I can’t imagine life without singing.  It’s the one instrument that we don’t have to carry around.  I remember when my mom made me take band my 6th grade year, I had to carry the saxophone everyday to school and I walked 5 miles uphill both ways (it’s really about 3/4 of a mile :P).  But, thankfully God gave us an instrument we never have to forget or pay extra for!  

QT – Psalm 148

Vs. 14, “He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart.  Praise the LORD.”  This psalm is known as a wisdom/creation Psalm.  All the heaven’s and God’s creation praise the Lord.  We are not the only creation by God that praises His name.  As you look at the beauty of this earth we live on, you can’t help but realize that the beauty of God’s creation sings declares Him.  But most importantly, the creation that was created in His image sings out to God because He draws us close to Him.

Regarding application…All People PTL.  Vs. 12, “young men and maidens, old men and children.”  Praising the Lord isn’t something just Youth or adults participate in.  Praising the Lord encompasses all people….children, youth, adults and elderly.  At CTC church, on Good Friday this past year, we had a combined worship service that invited all ages to come.  At first, we were going to exclude the children from this.  Fortunately, we made the decision to have all come and we all were very blessed because of it.  Families brought their parents, parents brought their little ones and we all worshiped the Lord Jesus together!  It was a blessed night of all people doing what we were created to do: PTL!

QT – Psalm 147

Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD.  How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”  This declarative praise psalm is believed to have been written after the Babylonian exiles returned to Jerusalem.  Not only does praise bring glory to God, it benefits those who praise Him.  He heals the brokenhearted (vs. 3), He sustains us (vs. 6), and He brings hope to our lives (vs. 11).  It was an appropriate reminder as God’s people had such an evident testimony of God working in their lives.  

Regarding application…God Reveal’s His Word.  Vs. 19, “He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel.”  It was His word that created us back in Genesis and it His word that sustains us now!  Sometimes I wonder why we have to eat so often…with life so busy, it would be nice to just eat once a day.  But, God created us with a need to eat throughout the day.  Likewise, God created us not to just read His word once in awhile.  God created us to read His word daily and meditate on it throughout the day.  Give thanks to the Lord today for how His word reminds us of His faithfulness in each of your lives!  

QT – Psalm 146

Vs. 2, “I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”  PTL…The last five Psalms start with Praise the Lord (Hallelujah).  This is a call to praise the Lord and stop putting our focus on other things.  They say that praising God is evidence of the life we have in Christ.  Praising God also shows the faith that we have in him (vs. 3-4).  And lastly, praising God displays the hope that we have no matter the circumstances (vs. 5-7).

Regarding application…Trusting In People.  Vs. 3, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.”  Sometimes we have the tendency to put our trust in people of this world.  Think of all the praises and trust that people were putting in President Obama.  Even one day we will have the anti-Christ come and many people will put their trust in him.  Who are we trusting in?  As much as some people are there for us, they cannot save us…only Jesus can do that.  So let’s start this week putting in our trust in the Lord.  Let’s let Him give us the heart of Christ!

QT – Psalm 145

Vs. 3, “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” Ahhhh…what a nice change of pace as we go to a declarative psalm of praise. Reading this Psalm today, I had the overwhelming desire to praise the Lord! We are reminded of God’s greatness, grace, goodness, glory and generosity. David reminded us that we are going to praise God forever, so we better get used to it! When we praise the Lord, we bear witness to the church and to the world (vs. 4-7).

Regarding application…Slow to Anger. Vs. 8, “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” If this sounds familiar, it’s because there are several instances in the Word of God that have this phrase. When I think about this…I realize how fortunate I am that God showed His compassion to me through all my rebellious years. This reminds me that since God was slow to anger, I must be slow to anger. When we talk with people, anger is not a sin…but we must be slow to anger. How is your anger management in your life today?

QT – Psalm 144

Vs. 15, “Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD.” This is considered a descriptive psalms written by David. It is believed that this was used to help stir the troops getting ready for battle. Even though our lives may be short (vs 4), we want to stand up and battle for the Lord! And there are so many battles in our lives, huh? The battle for salvation, the battle for restored relationships in the family, the battle for education, the battle for your future and how God desires to use you, the battle of temptation. So many battles…

Regarding application…God is our Fortress. Vs. 2, “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples [a] under me.” I remember being a little kid, I used to play war with my friends. We would construct these elaborate fortresses made of chairs and blankets. We would throw toys and makeshift bombs at each other hoping to destroy their man-made fortress. Thankfully, we do not have a man-made fortress, we have a fortress built by God! Don’t get easily discouraged brothers & sisters when the attacks of the enemy seem to be winning. Stand up and have courage, for God is on our side!