I wasn’t sure about the format of this study. I know what you are now thinking, “Didn’t you come up with it?” Well, yes, I did, but I still wasn’t sure it would be enough to focus on 1 chapter for an entire week. It turns out, it’s kind of awesome.
On Monday and Tuesday, we wrote the Word. In a sense, it can be tedious, but I kept reminding myself that many years ago, Paul wrote these words with so much love and care to the Romans. I kind of love that I am now doing it too.
On Wednesday we SOAKed chapter 1. SOAKing is such a natural process for me now. I knew on Monday, when I wrote verse 12, that that would be the one I’d write about in my SOAK. Nevertheless, I read chapter 1 again, but it still was the one.
“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” ~Romans 1:12
I love that verse so much! It reminds me of the importance of fellowship with other believers. I didn’t realize what a huge impact it has on all aspects of my life. I need encouragement from others and I need to encourage others in their faith. I did not value it for many years, despite having had it in college. I craved a group of local girlfriends. I prayed for them. I did not even think to pray for sisters-in-Christ, but that’s what God gave me to help me get back on track with my faith. My gratitude for these friendships makes this verse all the more powerful to me.
On Thursday, we colored the Word (either in our Bibles or on the pages where we wrote the Word). I am a very experienced Bible colorer. That being said, Romans 1 was difficult for me simply because I’ve done most of my coloring in the Gospels. Romans is a different format entirely so I am having to adjust my approach. I do want to encourage everyone who is just beginning to color-code the Bible. I remember thinking I’d always have to double and triple check which color I should use. Here’s the deal: there’s no right or wrong way to color-code. I repeat: there’s no right or wrong way to color-code. I often see that others code differently than I do on the same verse. That’s okay! I used to code by verse; now, I code by word. The more you do it, the more comfortable and confident you will become–and one day you will realize that you pretty much have the whole chart memorized. I can’t wait for you to experience that moment too!
On Friday, we completed homiletics and/or created verse images. Homiletics are tricky. Despite having done them several times, I still struggle with them and do not feel confident in my abilities. That is the number one reason I added them to this plan. I need the practice. I want to improve and at least feel more confident.
Because I can recognize that not everyone has an interest in homiletics, I decided to add a fun alternate activity: create a verse image! For years I pinned beautiful verse images and quotes on Pinterest wondering how people made such beautiful images. Now, I have fun making my own and I love seeing others! Side note: I do not know how to do the super-fancy ones some of you seem to be able to make on YouVersion. Someone school me in the comments PLEASE!
So, through all of this week’s study of Romans, I have felt God speak to me in ways I did not expect.
For example, in verse 10, Paul writes, “One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you.” Paul had not been to Rome as a Christ follower. He did not know these people. These two facts drove the content of this letter filled with such integral doctrine of our faith. Paul wanted to go to Rome but couldn’t at that time. God’s, “No,” ensured that Paul would write this letter to the Roman church that we now study. How cool is that? I don’t know what Paul was feeling about his inability to go to Rome. I think I would be disappointed, but he knew that everything he did was for God’s purpose and glory. I should take comfort in that. When things don’t go my way, I should thank God for He will take me where it best glorifies Him, even if I don’t get to see it this side of heaven.
I would love to know how He spoke to you too. Please share in the comments!
I too loved verse 12. It’s such a good reminder about the importance of gathering in Christ’s name. I never picked up on the fact that God said no and that no led to this book of the Bible. How cool! God’s nos are hard yet purposfull and I love this example of how God’s no was important to fulfil his plan for HID word!