A Reading Through Romans

20 Aug

I’ve recently finished reading James Montgomery Boice’s book, To the Glory of God.  It is a 40-day devotional that takes the reader through the book of Romans, passage-by-passage.  I found this book to be a great encouragement to me, reminding me of the sovereignty of God, His amazing grace that has been made known to me in Christ and the assurance that I have as a child of God.  However, the book also motivated me to be active in loving my brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as those who are lost and hurting in the world around me.  Just like the apostle Paul, Boice proclaims the rich theology of Romans (the atonement, election, God’s sovereignty and His amazing grace), and then exhorts the reader to both rest in these truths and live them out in a manner worthy of our calling.

I am an avid reader, so when I received this book in the mail, I was a bit disappointed in the fact that each devotion is only 1-2 pages long.  I feel as though some of the sections are rather large to boil down into a single article.  However, I do not think there is a single one that fails to remind me of the Gospel, my position in Christ or my calling to love others.  Some are deeper in thought than others, and some even call out to those who do not know Christ.  At the end of each day’s reading, there is a brief note added that challenges the reader as they seek to live out what they’ve just read.  Overall, I think this is a great book; concise yet expansive, comforting yet challenging and saturated in the grace of God revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Below are a few quotations from the book that I thought would whet your appetite for Boice’s work:

“A nation does not become strong by laws but by the character of its citizens. (p. 156)

“Paul knew that what matters in the final analysis is not whether or not we feel good or have our felt needs met or receive a meaningful experience.  What matters is whether we come into a right relationship with God. (p. 36)

“The gospel is for the very great sinner as well as for the apparently moral person.  It is for the pagan as well as for the one who considers himself or herself religious. (p.52)”

“We get involved in the affairs of this world and forget the Lord for a time.  Ah, but he is still seeking us.  He has only used our neglect of him to show us how much his love means and how empty our lives our without it. (p.81)”

“Those you think beautiful now will no longer be beautiful in physical terms.  But the beauty of the bearers of the gospel will last forever. (p. 125)”

“God is the God of all hopeless causes, ourselves included. (p. 134)”

“We should work for any valid visible expression of our oneness in Christ that is attainable, and we should avoid unnecessary divisions and even try to learn from one another in a humble, teachable spirit. (p. 147)”

“Perhaps what we need to do here is simply get our minds off ourselves entirely and think of Christ, because if we think of him, we will become increasingly like him. (p. 151)”

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