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July 2007

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory.
—Romans 5:1-2, NLT

"Made right": Do you understand the scope and magnitude of those words? read more

August 2007

Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
—Romans 5:1,3-4, NLT

Made right—two powerful words that have the ability to transform lives. Our being made right is the result of God's doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. It's known as the "great substitution." Scholars say it is the theme of the book of Romans. read more

September 2007

There were no blacksmiths in the land of Israel in those days. The Philistines wouldn't allow them for fear they would make swords and spears for the Hebrews. ... None of the people of Israel had a sword or spear, except for Saul and Jonathan.
—1 Samuel 13:19,22, NLT

The Philistines had finally dealt the Israelites a conquering blow. To keep God's people under subjection, the victors removed all the blacksmiths from the land, hoping to paralyze the nation of Israel. In an agricultural society such as the one they lived in, the effect was devastating. read more

October 2007

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
—Hebrews 11:6, NLT

Every kingdom operates on a medium of exchange. By this I am referring to what is valued as necessary for the exchanging of goods, materials or valuable items. Faith is the medium of exchange in God's kingdom. read more

November 2007


Don't sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
—Ephesians 4:26-27, NLT

Millions of Americans are angry. Some express their anger in violent outbursts of aggression. Others cover it up and silently simmer. read more

December 2007


Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord's thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice?

—Romans 11:33-34, NLT

The birth of Christ was one of the most carefully planned, detailed events in the history of man. It was not an afterthought or God's Plan B, as some say. read more

February 2008

To all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people.
—Romans 1:7, NLT

Need a fresh look at God's salvation plan? Look no further than the book of Romans. It's a record of the age-old story, loaded with timeless meaning. Many believe it's the most profound of Paul's writings. read more

April 2008

Did God's people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God's offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.
 Romans 11:11-12, NLT

The book of Romans would be incomplete without a masterful treatise on the plight of God's people, the Jews. Paul provides this treatise in chapters 9-11 of the book. The setting for the story is this: The Jews, God's chosen people, are about to be temporarily displaced from their active role in God's kingdom. Their continued disobedience finally had run its course, and the result was an awful price to pay. read more

June 2008

So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
—1 Corinthians 9:26-27, NLT

What’s up with Paul and the struggle with his flesh? Shouldn’t this spiritual giant have been beyond such a struggle? Why would he need to take drastic measures to control his body? read more

July 2008

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
—Romans 8:28, NLT

One of the greatest challenges we all face in life is discovering our God-given purpose and identity. For most, it’s a lifelong journey that can be both daunting and intriguing. The search usually begins somewhere around adolescence and continues up to the day we die. read more

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Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit