And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen.Romans 15:33
Those words sound like the end of the letter to the Romans. They sound like the benediction . . . but Paul often took a few more moments to add personal thoughts to his friends.
I was talking with my daughter a little while ago and we each said “goodbye” several times. But each time we thought of “one more thing to say.”
And that seemed to happen to Paul in Romans 16.
And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people.Romans 16:17–18
Paul was urging the believers in Rome to be careful and not let their guard down . . . to stay clear of divisiveness . . . to know the Scriptures so that no one could lead them away from the truth.
The enemy of our souls will always send smooth-talking ear ticklers to tempt us by distorting God’s Word in an attempt to disguise his lies as just a “different way of interpreting” what God said.
The only way you and I can “watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith” is by knowing the truth of God’s Word.
God loves us so much that He wants us to KNOW His Truth, TRUST His Promises, and OBEY His Will because He knows it is only through faith and following that you and I can have lasting peace, joy, strength, and hope.
The divisiveness of false teaching turns our focus away from the blessings God wants for us and causes us to bicker and bite at each other. It also ruins our witness to the world.
The Life Application Bible Notes say this about Paul’s words…
When we read books or listen to sermons, we should check the content of what is written or said so that we won’t be fooled by smooth talk and glowing words. Christians who study God’s Word, asking Him to reveal the truth will not be fooled.
May we be diligent to KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY . . . and PRAY.
A Prayer to KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY
Father, thank you so very much for giving us Your Word. Thank you for Your Spirit who is with and within us to guide and guard our hearts and minds. You have given us everything we need to KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY You.
Please help me, Lord. You described the devil as the “father of lies.” He has twisted the truths of Your Word to deceive and divide us. Please forgive me for failing to KNOW Your Truth as well as I should. Forgive me for failing to faithfully TRUST Your Promises, and forgive me for failing to OBEY Your will.
I am so very thankful for Jesus – for everything You have done and continue to do for me every day. Your grace, mercy, and love sustain me. You have carried me through difficult times. (Psalm 55:22) You have lifted me out of the pit of despair. (Psalm 40:2) You have given me everything I need to be Your child. Psalm 103:13)
Lord, I ask You to unsettle me until I spend time with You each day reading and studying Your Word and sitting with You in prayer because I believe that it is only through Word and Prayer that I will faithfully KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY You. Hold me. Fill me. Guard my heart and my mind that I might live for Your glory. Amen.
Friend, it’s hard, isn’t it? We want to be trusting. We want to believe everyone who identifies as a follower of Christ. We want to believe that teachers are teaching the truth. But God’s Word is clear . . . that’s just not always the case. Just like satan twisted God’s words to tempt people in Scripture, he continues to do so today.
You and I must KNOW God’s Word if we want to TRUST and OBEY.
On today’s note write:
God’s Word is the TRUTH that helps me KNOW, TRUST, and OBEY.
May God bless you today as You trust His love, SEEK His Truth, and Pray for His mercy, grace, and guidance.
And for more about reading the Bible, check out – How to Read the Bible in a Way that will Change Your Life.
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