Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Authentic Compassion - A Non-Political View

I've moved to a new address - but there are some bugs that need to be worked out. Here's a new post until I get that figured out . . .

There are a lot of ideas circulating these days about who's compassionate and who is not  - especially on the American political scene. Politicians paint one party as being more compassionate while another is painted as being more cold and uncaring.

God has written the message of His compassion across my heart and laced it through the landscape of my life. He has poured His compassion out on me, and He has allowed me to rally people together to practice it in and through the local church as a former Director of Sending Ministries. I have had the privilege of watching Him perform miracles as He reshaped hearts and mobilized people in acts of compassion that dramatically impacted the lives of those sharing it - and the lives of those receiving it. I have spent time in the trenches working face to face with people in need and have listened to the stories of many able-bodied people whose life mission and career goal was to convince our government they are disabled so they could receive a regular disability check. 

Here's something God has taught me about authentic compassion. Maybe this will help you as you warm this world with your own demonstrations of compassion.

Authentic compassion does not make people dependent on systems, organizations, ministries, or governments.
  • There is a time and place for emergency assistance and even long-term care (i.e., orphans), but authentic compassion never desires to make that assistance a permanent lifestyle.
  • Authentic compassion always desires to build people up and make them stronger.
  • It sees the potential in every person.
  • It seeks the best for that person.
  • It seeks to encourage them toward their fullest potential and the fulfillment that comes from living out their God-given purpose on this earth.
  • It allows people to realize the deep satisfaction and dignity that come from a day of hard work.
  • Authentic compassion is proactive.
  • It empowers and makes people stronger.

Let's stop allowing politicians to define compassion. The view is distorted when the only aim is self-serving re-election based on creating a sense of dependency among the people. How about wrapping our minds around authentic compassion? Demonstrating authentic compassion helps and empowers - it never hurts, enables, or limits.

What are your questions or comments about authentic compassion? 

Please circulate and share this post if you want to rally people toward authentic compassion in our world today.

Taking a Stand to Warm the World Together . . .

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hi Warming House friends! I have noticed that a lot of you are still hanging around my old site here at blogspot. 

Love that you are digging around in my old posts, but wanted you to know that I've imported those old posts into my new site at wordpress - and have added fresh, new ones! You'll also enjoy great new music there as I've updated my playlist.

Would love for you to come see me at my new location. (I miss you!) Hopefully, you'll decide to stay awhile as a subscriber!

And feel free to bring some friends along with you . . . 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Moving Day & Pottery Barn Giveaway

Hi friends! Moving day has arrived. You can now find me at my new address:

If you're a subscriber at my current address, I hope you'll stay in touch by subscribing to my new site. :)

Later this week, I'll be giving away some goodies from Pottery Barn in celebration of the glorious season of summer:

One set of dinner plates


One set of decorative salad plates

For your outdoor entertaining

All subscribers (at new site) will be entered in the drawing for a chance to win.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Warming House is Moving

Hi friends! After contemplating this for quite a while, I've decided to move my blog to Wordpress simply because it gives me the ability to do some things with my blog that I can't do here at Blogger. It's a little scary because the blogging community at Wordpress isn't as strong as the community here - so I'm really hoping you'll continue to follow me through Wordpress. :) 

 While I'm changing things, I've considered the possibility of a complete fresh start by changing the name of my blog too. I'm a cozy, mountain-lovin' girl, so The Warming House fits me . . . but I've passed by this road periodically in my travels and the name always makes me smile. So I've thought about incorporating that name into my blog title. Since I can't decide which one I like, I'm asking for your help. Cast your vote in the sidebar to determine the name of my blog. Of course, I'm open to your suggestions too. Thanks for the feedback!

Oh yeah . . . poll closes May 2nd at 8:00 a.m. central time (U.S.).


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Want a Great Adventure?

Life with God is a "sick" adventure (as my son would say). What I mean is that life lived in relationship with God - and in obedience to God - offers benefits this world can't even come close to. This past year God has taken my husband and I on an adventure that has been one of the highlights of my life. He opened the door for us to attend the Kanakuk Institute. The Institute is a strategic program for recent college graduates focused on equipping men and women with Biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry. It provides internal and external context for Christian faith through instruction in church history, archaeology, world religions, current issues, apologetics, situational ethics, Messianic prophecy, character, conflict resolution, overview of the Bible, and precepts inductive Bible study. KI partners with Dallas Theological Seminary, John Brown University, and Kanakuk Ministries to bring in the highest quality teaching professors and speakers from around the world.

We're way seasoned (older) than the students who traditionally attend the Institute. When we approached the man who started this school to see if he would allow us to come, he graciously said, "Yes. That would be awesome!" 

This year has been the sweetest kiss from God. What a refreshing, healthy change from some of the incredible hardships we experienced the three years prior. It feels very much like God's reward as He planted us right in the middle of some of the most promising young people I have ever met. We became family as we loved one another, prayed and worshipped together before class, played together, laughed together, hurt together, held each other accountable, built each other up, pushed each other forward, and encouraged one another daily.

During the year God gave us new insight and understanding, and stretched us way beyond our comfort zones as we developed and presented an overview of the entire Bible, presented and defended belief statements on 10 doctrines of the Bible before a panel of ministry leaders and pastors, gave two presentations to our peers and ministry leaders, and completed many, many assignments. The days were filled with hours in class learning from the highest quality teachers from around the world then going home to study and complete homework until it was time to go to bed. But through it all, God was in it - walking with us, giving us strength, courage, and perseverance. This year, God has equipped us further for ministry and for life - and that is a very good feeling. 

Some of you might ask why we would attend a school like this at this point in life. Here's my simple answer. God is BIG. We can never, ever know everything there is to know about Him. Life with Him is a continuous journey of intriguing discovery that has captivated my heart and my mind. 

In the book of Jeremiah, God says to us:

"Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth." Jeremiah 9:23-24

And God wants us to know Him. He goes to great lengths to show Himself to us.

1) God reveals Himself to us through the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. When we study Christ, we see God. 

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word." Hebrews 1:3

"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." John 14:9-10

2) God displays His creativity, love, beauty, greatness, and power all around us in creation (nature).

"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." Romans 1:20

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Psalm 19:1-4  

3) God shows His sweet and wonderful self to us through His Word which I love very much and am so deeply grateful for. How gracious of Him to go to the effort of communicating those words to men making sure they wrote everything down just as He wanted them to for our benefit.

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness . . ." 
2 Timothy 3:16

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4

"They are not just idle words for you-they are your life." Deuteronomy 32:47

The knowledge we received this year is not the end in and of itself.

From A. W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Christian Publications, Inc., 1948):

"Sound Bible exposition is an imperative must in the Church of the Living God. Without it no church can be a New Testament church in any strict meaning of that term. But exposition may be carried on in such a way as to leave the hearers devoid of any true spiritual nourishment whatever. For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts."

This year God has nourished and watered my soul. He has given me knowledge of Himself that satisfies the way nothing else can. He has delighted me with His Presence and I have tasted the sweetness of God Himself in the very core of my heart. In this, there is freedom, life, and tremendous joy.

For me, the journey of discovery continues . . . 

So back to my original question. Want a great adventure? If so, would love for you to join me in the adventure of pursuing knowledge and understanding of our immense and wonderful God - and living for Him - if you aren't already. It's truly a "ride" like no other.

With great confidence in the beautiful character of God,


Monday, April 23, 2012

Texas Hospitality

Texas is a very big state. Texas hospitality is even bigger. Every time I go to Texas, I fall in love with it even more. It isn't about the geography and climate. It gets suffocatingly hot there. It's really all about the people. Texans have a way of making you feel right at home - like you're part of their family. About a month ago, we traveled to Texas and stayed at the Hunters Creek Bed & Breakfast. The decor was beautiful, cozy, and comfortable. Rustic elegance at its finest - my favorite! The owners, Doug and Brenda, welcomed us with typical Texas hospitality - friendly, gracious, kind, and down-to-earth. We got to boot-scoot our way out to the barn and corral to see the horses, and enjoyed some warm and genuine conversation. Here are some pictures of this charming B&B.

Just inside the door - a comfy chair to curl up in . . .

Love the little details - like the leather tie holding back these lace curtains on the door

Sumptuous rustic grapevine bed

It's the little details in the pockets of a room that make it special

A cozy corner desk

Another view of this luscious room

Ambience is all about the lighting. This sanctuary was filled with surprising and beautiful points of light.

Another place of comfort . . . seriously? I'm ready to move in permanently!

On to the bathroom. Love the lantern!! It was on a dimmer so it cast a soft glow. Cute towel rack too!

Creative antique "towel rack" on the other side of the room

Cute corner shelving in the shower area

More sweet lighting!

Adorable window dressing in shower area

Our room opened onto a private covered back patio surrounded by woods.

A welcoming outdoor setting (just outside our private entrance) for early morning Bible study

Table for two

I was enraptured with the Hunters Creek Bed & Breakfast - and its owners. It's an inviting and peaceful respite for the weary soul.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Drifter


Every Thursday my husband, Mike, takes our son to Bible study at the local McDonald’s. It’s a great weekly ritual of Micky D’s breakfast with friends and a dedicated teacher who helps them unravel the meaning of scripture and apply it to their lives. This is something I love about our community. Throughout the week, you'll see groups of people gathering for Bible studies at many local restaurants.

Leaving McDonald’s last week, Mike noticed a homeless man sitting on the curb at the corner of the building.  This man was having his own private and personal Bible study. Mike thought about stopping to talk to him, but he wasn’t sure what to say. That thought was twisting in his conscience as he pulled out of the parking lot. At that moment, his phone rang. He answered to hear our 12-year-old son say, “Dad, did you see that homeless guy reading his Bible? You need to go give him some money.” Josh had noticed him too as he had gotten in the car with his Bible study leader to head to school. Well it hardly took a second for my husband to turn his car around. He parked his car, squatted down on the curb next to “Tex Squires”, and began a conversation that lasted 30 minutes. That’s a good long time for a man who wasn’t sure what he was going to say! Actually, Tex did most of the talking. As Mike listened, he observed that Tex was sober, smart, and articulate. Not your stereotypical homeless man.

During their exchange, people streamed in and out of the restaurant. Mike sure got some weird looks and second-glances sitting there on the ground with this weathered drifter.

So why is he a drifter? Well – he has a back-story just like every other person on this planet. In his own words, he articulated that he has a “messed up family.” Growing up, his daddy always told him he was worthless. The precise words Tex heard repeatedly throughout his childhood were: “You are a worthless bastard.” Can you imagine hearing that day-in and day-out? In addition to the verbal garbage about being worthless, Tex’s Dad constantly threatened to kill him. His most recent exchange with his dad included the words, “I’ve got a bullet waiting for you.”

Tex’s mom wasn’t much better. When she actually wore clothes at home, she dressed provocatively – wearing Daisy Dukes when his friends came over. She was an embarrassment to Tex and eventually had an extra-marital affair.

Tex loves Jesus and believes strongly in obedience to God “like the Bible says”. But he’s seen too many Christians act one way on Sunday morning, then turn into different people outside of church. So Tex doesn’t trust anyone – only his dogs. He declared to my husband that he has willingly and intentionally checked out of society. Hearing his back-story, I can’t say that I blame him.

God has established a tender spot in my heart for those our society views as “outcasts” and “undesirables”. Truth is, everyone has a back-story. Everyone has value. And everyone needs someone who believes in them – beginning with our own children then working its way outward.

There are lots of people like Tex on the byways of this world. Problem is, how often do we "see" them? How often do we sit down on the curb or start a conversation with them? You know what I love? I love the fact that our son actually noticed this guy. An overwhelming majority of society would just walk on by without even seeing him there. If they did notice him, many would judge him or turn their heads the other way without a second thought. But Josh saw him and called his dad. That’s a whole lot like Jesus who noticed the beggars, the lepers, the blind, and so on. When they crossed His path, He loved on them (and listened to them) because that’s what His Dad wanted him to do. Christ followers – there are people who cross our path each day that we never "see". They all have back-stories and struggles. They all have value. What would it take for us to open our eyes and see those people through God’s eyes. He made them in His image after all - even the "outcasts".

And God calls us to love them.  

"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another . . . if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us." 1 John 4:10-12

Oh yeah. Tex says he’s going to write an e-book about his life and call it “Worthless Bastard.” If you ever see that title out there you’ll know where it came from.

And if you're one of those people whose back-story is a little like Tex's, hear the truth from me now. God loves you deeply. You are extremely valuable to Him - and to me.

Thanks for stopping by . . .


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Call Me Maybe

Could you use a good laugh today? Watch this video. If you're anything like me, you'll laugh until you feel tears creeping out the corners of your eyes. This is one of the cheesiest, funniest you-tube videos I have seen in a long time - and it was put together by my son and his buddies when they went camping over spring break. Little did we know what they were up to! This was his creative way of asking a girl to his college formal. One of the other guys adapted the ending to ask another girl to his formal. So fun!! Yes - I am shamelessly promoting my son's video - but I'm doing it because I know it will bring a little bit of joy into your day. Enjoy! Oh yeah . . . be sure to mute the sound on my playlist at the bottom of this post so you can hear the video.


Just sitting here smiling . . .

Saturday, April 7, 2012


(Be sure to turn the sound off on my playlist at the bottom of this blog before you watch this video.)

I ADORE MY JESUS!!!!!!! I can't imagine where my life would be without him. To me, He is:









                                                   Loyal Friend

Lord of My Life

              King Above All Kings

                                                                          Great Love
All the Strength I Need


            Power to Endure

                                            Unending Hope

Eternal Joy

            Purpose for living








Perfect Righteousness



                                                          All Good All the Time

Lover of the Outcast

Who is Jesus to you? Leave a one-word (or few-word) description in comment section below.

Through Jesus, God kept the promise He made in the Garden of Eden when sin and its consequences entered the world. (Genesis 3:15)

He made good on His covenant with Abraham. (Jesus is a descendant of Abraham.)

"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." Genesis 12:2-3

". . . for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you." Genesis 17:5-7

He fulfilled the prophecies He spoke through Old Testament prophets many years before Christ was born. (Isaiah 53 and more)

"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Isaiah 53:5

God had a plan to rescue and save mankind. He accomplished it through His Son, Jesus and He isn't finished yet. The time is coming when He will keep His promise to come back and take us to be with Him.

"They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." Matthew 24:30-31

Praise God for His goodness and mercy to all of us! 

Happy Easter friends!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Did Jesus Really Rise From the Dead?

The Garden Tomb - Israel by Lisa@The Warming House
Did Jesus really rise from the dead? Great question. It’s a hotly debated topic. His resurrection is illogical and difficult to comprehend – or is it?

As you consider the resurrection of Christ, here are some things to think about:

  • The gospel writers in the Bible all record Jesus death by crucifixion. 
  • The Talmud (a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish Law, ethics, philosophy, customs, and history) records a historical account of the death of Jesus by Roman crucifixion. As you contemplate that, keep in mind that the Jewish religious leaders were enemies of Jesus yet their historical writings confirm his death just as it is told in the Bible.
  • Josephus, a famous secular historian who lived Bible times, confirms that Jesus died at the hand of the Romans by means of crucifixion.
  • Thallus, as well as a noted Roman historian named Tacitus, both confirm his crucifixion. 
  • Current day scholars such as John Crossan and Bart Ehrman, confirm his death by crucifixion on orders of the Roman prefect in Judea – Pontius Pilate. They even go so far as to say that this is “a certain fact.”

Three days after his death and burial in a tomb, Jesus’ female followers went to his tomb and discovered it was empty. They were afraid someone had taken his body. An angel informed them that he had risen.

The Garden Tomb (Burial Chamber)
By Lisa@The Warming House
Here’s what we know about his resurrection:

1) The location of the tomb site was known and it was empty.

2) Jesus appeared to hundreds of witnesses after his resurrection providing proof of his resurrection.

3) There was a radical transformation in his disciples. To realize the significance of this transformation, you need to understand that the environment in Jerusalem was hostile. The Jewish leaders hated Jesus and had demanded his crucifixion so who’s to say they wouldn’t do the same to Jesus’ followers? Only the women and one disciple (John) stayed near the cross as Jesus suffered and breathed his last breath. Everyone else had scurried into hiding. When these terrified disciples learned that Jesus had come back to life, they boldly reentered public life – and not just in a quiet, submissive way. They publicly proclaimed Christ’s resurrection, claimed him to be the Messiah, and called people to acknowledge him as Lord. As they did this, they were well aware that they were putting their lives at risk.

4) After his resurrection, many Jews abandoned their deeply embedded Jewish faith and customs to follow Christ and his teachings.

5) The Christian church was begun in Jerusalem. This was obviously the worst place to start. Opponents were still in Jerusalem and still in positions of power.

There are some interesting theories about his resurrection. Here are a few:

1)   The disciples stole his body. Really? The Jewish leaders remembered how Jesus said he would arise again in three days. They were totally freaked out about the possibility that his disciples would steal his body then tell everyone he had risen from the dead. They wanted to prevent some sort of “legendary story” to begin circulating about Jesus so they went to Pilate and urged him to make the tomb secure. Pilate posted a guard and permitted them to seal the stone and make the tomb as secure as they possibly could. The Roman soldiers exercised extra vigilance outside his tomb. They would never have let anyone get past them to steal the body. It’s also important to remember that all of the disciples endured severe persecution, and all but one was murdered because of his Christian faith. It is a well-known fact that no one will ever die for something they know is a lie. Would you? 

2)   Disciples hallucinated the resurrection. Again – really?! The Roman soldiers could have simply gone into the tomb and produced the body.

3)   The Swoon Theory claims that Christ didn’t really die on the cross. He just lost consciousness. The cool, moist air of the tomb revived him. First of allno one survives a crucifixion. The details of a crucifixion are brutal. Second, after suffering the extreme torture of a flogging and crucifixion, how many of you would be able to walk around town without medical attention as though you had endured nothing? Not one of us could do that I’m sure. Yet Jesus did just that. In addition, the Romans went to his cross and pierced him in the side with a spear to make certain he was dead. Blood and water flowed out affirming that he was.

4)   The women were emotionally distraught, made a mistake, and went to the wrong tomb.  Seriously?! Would you forget where you buried someone you loved? I don’t think so!

After hearing about his resurrection from the women, the male disciples went to the tomb. They would have had to go to the wrong tomb too – in their emotional distress. The fact is, this tomb belonged to a well-known religious leader. When the news got out, people would have specifically gone to that tomb to check out the validity of the story.

5)   Jesus body was thrown into a shallow grave and dogs ate his body. Those who loved him deeply would not allow him to be thrown into a shallow grave. Again – there was too much at stake for anyone to just throw his body aside casually. See answer to #1. The religious leaders wanted his body and burial site guarded closely. The tomb belonged to Joseph of Arimathea – a religious leader on the Jewish ruling council.  Allowing Jesus’ body to be buried in his personal tomb would have invited persecution. If the stories of his burial there weren’t true, he would certainly have denied the truth of those claims. But he didn’t.

6)   Substitution theory offered by Islam. Their claim is that it wasn’t really Jesus who died on the cross. Someone else’s body was substituted for his. Good grief! His own Mama and others who knew him well had watched his trial before Pilate and his flogging. They had followed him as he carried his cross to the execution site. They were near the foot of the cross grieving desperately for him. After his death, they held him, touched him, and dressed his body for burial.  Scripture shows that his disciples were clearly befuddled by what had happened. Their mourning was sincere. They certainly did not expect him to rise from the dead. Besides – who would have raised their hand to volunteer to serve as his substitute? Really?!

Exiting the Tomb by Lisa@The WarmingHouse
Through the resurrection, Jesus fulfilled his own prophecies about himself and proved he is who he says he is – the perfect Son of God who came to pay the ransom to free us from the control of sin and its consequences.

His resurrection was God's "yes" approving and accepting Christ's sacrifice for the sins of mankind. 

His resurrection marked the successful completion of his mission on earth and validated all his claims.

Since Jesus is the divine Son of God, what he taught was true.

Jesus’ resurrection proves the truth of Christianity!

By Lisa@The Warming House

With complete confidence in the reality of His resurrection,


Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Letter Full of Good News

View from Mt. Precipice in Nazareth by Lisa @ The Warming House

“Gospel” means "good news." So what's so good about the gospel message? In the book of Romans, Paul paints a comprehensive and pure picture of this good news. He starts with doctrine/theology then explains how those teachings should take root in a person and work their way out into behavior that impacts the world. If you read this post, you'll see why this news is so good.

Righteousness of God Revealed

Paul was not ashamed to preach the gospel because “it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” – both Jew and Gentile. (Gentiles were people who did not have Jewish parents.)

In Romans, Paul taught that in the gospel “a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written . . .”

Righteousness is the state or condition of perfectly conforming to God’s perfect law and holy character. The perfection of God has been revealed in Jesus Christ. As a result of faith in Christ, a person is declared “righteous” and given eternal life. (Romans 1:16-17)

Mankind’s Need of God’s Righteousness
Romans 1:18-3:20

Paul began his case by first establishing something that I know from my personal life to be very, very true. It’s the dilemma facing every human being who has ever lived on this planet called Earth:
  • We are all imperfect and unable to live life without any mistakes or sin.
  • We are absolutely helpless to do anything to make ourselves good enough to stand in the presence of a perfect and holy God whose invisible attributes, eternal power, and divine nature are clearly seen and understood through His creation. (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1-6) All men are accountable to God.
  • Because we are flawed, the wrath of God rests on us.
  • The consequence of our imperfection is death and permanent separation from God. In essence, sin is the kidnapper that holds us in bondage and separates us from the One who loves us. There is a ransom that needs to be paid or we will die apart from Him.

God's Compassion For Our Dilemma 
Romans 3:21-5:21  

In Romans 3:21-5:21, Paul goes on to explain that God was patient and longsuffering – refraining from enforcing punishment until he revealed His righteous One who could take away the sins of those who put their faith in him. So here’s His solution for our dilemma:
  • In great compassion, God's Son - Jesus Christ, stepped in to pay our ransom by taking the punishment we deserve.
  • He endured the brunt of God’s wrath on our behalf while we were still filthy and undeserving.
  • His actions removed God’s wrath from us once and for all.
  • Christ is able to do this for us because he is perfect and without sin.
  • In the process, Jesus places His righteousness on us. God now sees all who put their faith in Jesus Christ through the lens of Christ’s perfection. The guilty verdict is removed and we are declared innocent. This is called justification. I am a recipient of this justification and am eternally grateful for what He has done.

Paul hammers home the message that we are saved from condemnation solely because of what Christ has done for us. Thankfully, it isn’t about us and our efforts. It’s about God’s goodness and mercy. 

God’s Righteousness Within
Romans 6:1-8:39

After putting faith in Jesus Christ and receiving a verdict of innocence, God begins to live and work inside believers with the purpose of making them look like Christ from the inside out. (Romans 8:28-29) This is called sanctification. Pretty cool!

This is how it works:
  • Change comes when a believer turns away from their old way of living, lives in oneness with Christ, and allows God to reign freely and with complete authority over their life.
  • Believers still struggle against sin, but sin no longer controls them. (Yes, I sometimes feel as though I’ve “sweat blood” as I’ve strained against my humanness.) Through dependence on God, His Holy Spirit inside of them provides all the power they need to conquer temptation and sin. (God is so good!)
  • Failure happens – even in the lives of well-meaning Christians. In great compassion and grace, God forgives them then helps them to persevere and move forward.
  • Bottom line: God never lets go. Nothing can separate us from His love. (Romans 8:35-39) I praise God for His limitless mercy.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Israel’s Reception of God’s Righteousness
Romans 9:1-11:36

Paul urged the people of Israel (who he loved like crazy) to come to the understanding that the true “sons of Abraham” and “children of God” are those who are sons by faith – spiritual sons.

He explained that:
  • Gentiles received righteousness through faith while Israel pursued righteousness through the Law and works. Israel failed because it is impossible to achieve complete righteousness through works.
  • Righteousness/justification come only through Jesus Christ. The Jewish people could not accept that. They stumbled over Christ and missed him.
  • God used their rejection for a very good purpose – the adoption of the Gentiles into His family. (Christ came first to save the Jewish people, but when they rejected Him the door was opened to the Gentiles.)

“But by their transgression salvation has come to the Gentiles . . .” Romans 11:11
“. . . a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in . . .” Romans 11:25
  • Paul wanted his people – the people of Israel – to wake up, recognize, and receive true righteousness through faith in Christ. He told them that God has not rejected Israel completely. Although they rejected Him, He will give them fulfillment and life through Christ when they believe.

“Now if their transgression is riches for the world, and their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fulfillment be!” Romans 11:12
“And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” Romans 11:23

God’s Righteousness Works Its Way Out
Romans 12:1-15:13

Those who love Jesus Christ and have a relationship with Him, abandon all that they are (heart, soul, body, and mind) to all that He is. That abandonment of self and submission to Him affects:
  • Our bodies and what we do with them
  • Our spiritual gifts and talents - and how we use them
  • How we live out our daily lives (i.e., behavior)
  • Our respect for authority
  • Our convictions
  • Our interactions with others
  • Our worship
  • Our unity with other believers

God loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way. He works to change us into the image of His Son. Those changes are meant to work their way out into our behavior.

The believer’s desire is to glorify God for His incredible and unexplainable mercy.

In a nutshell:

“Once we too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled by others and became slaves to many wicked desires and evil pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy. We hated others, and they hated us. But then God our Savior showed us His kindness and love. He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us because of what Jesus Christ our Savior did. He declares us not guilty because of His great kindness. And now we know that we will inherit eternal life.” Titus 3:4-5 (New Living Translation)

 Thanks for sharing your time with me here at The Warming House. Glad you stopped by!