Devotion Week of January 1 2012 | Epistle To The Romans | Jesus

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  SERMON NOTES: Prayer Requests Y Praise God for the gift of His Son. Y Pray that the Church of Jesus Christwill continue to proclaim the Word tothe world. Y For continued growth of Chain of Lakes Church and guidance in thedecisions to come. Y For Garrett McKinley, infant boy died. Y For all the troops finally cominghome! Y For Karina Marin’s marriage and forthe upcoming birth of their baby. Y For the family and new baby girl whowas born to Judith Shu and Jonathan Tse. Y For Chuck Godfrey and his family asthey grieve for the passing of hisstep-father. Y Pray for Erika Dochniak as shestruggles with diabetes. Y Pray for a seven year old boy namedCarter Olson who is undergoingchemotherapy for brain cancer.Prayers are working!! So far he istolerating chemo but has 4 moremonths of treatment ahead of him. Y Pray for Jennifer’s sister RebeccaKlein as their family go throughdivorce. Y Pray for Angelica’s friend Ann, afriend and colleague, who isreceiving treatment for breastcancer. Y Pray for Carole Lloyd, a friend of Pastor Paul and Amy Moore, whosebrain cancer has reappeared. Y Pray for Dwight Zvorak as herecovers from the disease of alcoholism. Y Pray for persons and processinvolved in property purchase forCOL. DEVOTION  The celebration of the New Year is theoldest of all holidays. It was firstobserved in ancient Babylon around4000 b.c.., and by 2000 b.c. the newyear was celebrated in early spring tocoordinate with the arrival of new life innature. The Romans observed the New Year in late March but various emperorskept tampering with the calendar untilthe calendar was out of sync with thesun. Finally, in 46 b.c., Julius Caesarestablished the Julian calendar andfirmly fixed January 1 as the designatedday of the new year.In the early church there was tensionbetween the church and the statebecause the New Year celebration wasan elaborate pagan festivity. As thechurch continued to grow and becamewidespread across the nations, it beganto establish its own religiousobservances and celebrations. Theirreligious festivities were oftenconcurrent with many pagancelebrations. So Christians gave newmeaning to common pagancelebrations. That’s what has happenedfor many Christians in going from  2 3 4 Christmas to the New Year. So, asChristians we celebrate the new year asa time when God brings new hope andpeace and joy through the birth of Christ Jesus our Lord. We can see theNew Year as God’s call for us to bringnew life to our faith and love. MONDAY, January 2 Read Romans 8:28 Think back through 2011. Sit and jotdown some of the highs that broughtyou joy and hope this past year. Thebirth of a child, the graduation of ayouth, a jobless person who foundemployment, a wedding, baptism, or anunforgettable achievement by you orsomeone you love. As you remembersome beautiful events that enriched ornurtured your life, read Romans 8:28 atleast three times. Stop and think andconcentrate how God’s purpose wasbeing worked out for goodness in yourlife. Praise God for the many andvarious good things that have lifted youup and brought you joy. TUESDAY, January 3 Read Romans 8:35 and 37 Today, jot down the difficult or hurtfulexperiences that happened this pastyear. This is often hard to do becausewe tend to blot out some of the thingsthat brought us pain. But, think hard.Write them down. You might have hurta friend, or a neighbor, or a familymember. Someone may haveconsciously or unconsciously usedwords that cut you deeply. Someonemay have done something that broughtyou disappointment. Read Romans 8:35,37 at least three times. Have any of thethings that hurt you separated you fromthe love of Christ? Read each eventthat caused you pain and ask the love of Christ to forgive you or the offender. Turn the events over to God by throwingthe paper in the garbage or burning it.Praise God for forgiveness and for God’slove that is with you through all things.  WEDNESDAY, January 4 Read Romans 8:38 and 39. Jot down both the great joys and thepotential struggles that lie ahead in theNew Year for your family, with yourfriends, with the Chain of Lakescommunity, on your job, or in yourvolunteer work. Now read Romans8:38-39 at least three times. Sit backand relax and praise God that you donot walk into the future alone. Youalways have the divine presence of Godthrough Jesus Christ walking with you.Praise God that you know the presenceof Christ will follow you in the yearahead and pray that nothing in allcreation will be able to separate youfrom the love of God in Christ Jesus ourLord. THURSDAY, January 5 2 Corinthians 12:9We all want to be in control of our lives.In fact, many of our conflicts occur overwho’s in charge, who has control. Wework hard to avoid losing control orbeing controlled by someone or somecondition. And yet, we are all undersome power or authority beyond us. Wemay rebel or resist but we are stillsubject to a power we cannot control.Now read 2 Corinthians 12:9 at leastthree times. Paul says that God’s graceis sufficient for us. In fact,Paul points out that we are all weak andcontrolled by many forces around us, sothe more we rely on God’s grace thestronger we are to face all the problemsthat come our way. Let’s admit ourweaknesses and discover new strengthin God’s grace. Pray for God’s grace tosurround you and sustain you throughthis next year. FRIDAY, January 6 I Corinthians 15:10When we enter the New Year we arealways confronted with the challenge tomake resolutions. We hear peopleexpress what they want to do differentin the New Year. Of course, we all havedreams of doing something different orchanging some of our habits. But,usually, within hours, days or evenweeks we lose some of our enthusiasmfor the ideal and revert back to the real,the way we are. Read I Corinthians15:10. I love what Paul says about us.He says, “…by the grace of God I amwhat I am, and God’s grace toward meis not in vain.” In other words, Godmade us as we are and we need toaccept who we are as God’simmeasurable gift. So walk into thefuture with your head held high and beproud of who you are because you are achild of God and God loves you. Praythat you can accept who you are inGod’s grace. SATURDAY, January 7  Jeremiah 29:11 Jeremiah says it all. Speaking on behalf of God, Jeremiah proclaims, “For I knowthe plans I have for you, says the Lord,plans for welfare and not for evil, to give  2 3 4 you a future and a hope.” Wow! Godhas created each of us for a purpose. That purpose is for our good. God has aplan for our lives, a plan to bringgoodness and love, a plan to enrichlives around us. Even though, at times,the future doesn’t look so promising, weknow that the future is part of God’splan for us. That brings us hope, hopethat does not fade with the uncertaintyof politics or economics. Pray todaythat God’s plan will work through you tobring hope and peace and joy for allthose around you.  
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