I don't really remember where I got this, but I wrote it into the margins of my Bible. It's called the Romans Road to Christ. It was the very first time (even after much study and reading the Bible through) that I understood Paul as a person and actually liked him. Romans became a touchstone in my life. I finally understood that Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome is actually a letter from God to ME (and you.) It was written around 58/59 A.D. in Corinth, perhaps at the home of Gaius.
We are bankrupt and unable to pay this huge debt for our sins. We are no good. Chapter 1 has a part specifically for the Gentiles, and Chapter 2 has a part just for the Jews. This is why I include it here for you, too, as I work through accepting that I'm God's favorite one (and so are you!)
1. Romans 3:23 "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
2. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
3. Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were sinners, Christ died for us."
4. Romans 10:9 "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
5. Romans 10:11 "As the Scripture says(Isaiah 28:16) "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." ("dismayed" is used in Isaiah.)
And I add, Romans 10: 13 "for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'" (Joel 2:32) The provision for salvation and certain death is tucked away in Chapter 3 (21-31.)
If God could pick me out to save, he's probably calling out to you, too, or you wouldn't be reading this at this time. If you are already saved, then you know for a fact that he loves you as if you were his only child. I guarantold you.
When I was just a baby kid, I felt alone and confused because the people I depended on gave me back to my mom and dad after living with them for as long as I could remember. My mom was in the
TB hospital all those years, and I had to get used to her again, and also not having my grandparents and Aunt Linda there all the time. My grandparents lived in Tennessee and my parents were in Indiana. I felt alone and I threatened my mom everyday, testing to see if she really wanted me.
I called my grandparents, "Mama and Daddy" and my mother was "Mama Lin." (What I had been told to call my mother. I don't remember what I called my Dad because he was home only on weekends, being a long haul trucker hauling automobile parts.) Every single day I faced off my poor mother who had lived for the day to get me back. I constantly tested the parameters of our relationship, testing if she loved me enough.
Giving Me Back to My Mother--Jubilant Mother; Sad Grandparents
She was very brave, however, and one day I was threatening her, telling her I was going back to MY Mama and MY Daddy if she wouldn't let me take another bath that day (I liked to play in water.) I dug my toe into the sand and dared her.
So, Mama Lin walked into my bedroom, throwing a suitcase on the bed and said, "All right. Let's pack up your things and I'll drive you back to Tennessee right now. You can go live with your Mama and Daddy, if that is what you really want.I love you. I love you enough to give you back to them."
She proceeded to carefully fold and put clothes into the suitcase.
I watched her with growing alarm and panic--she wasn't going to let me have another bath, she was going to take me back to them! And in my 4-year-old mind I was thinking, I have waited my whole life to be with this woman they told me so much about and now I'm going to really lose her! And while I loved them, I wanted to be with my own mother and daddy more.
I took out some of the clothes, and earnestly tried to convince her that she had gone mad,"Mama Lin, you can't drive."
How I came up with that and knew that was that, I don't remember. But I sure didn't bring up going back to live with MY Mama and My Daddy, anymore. I finally was with the woman who was My very own Mama, and I somehow knew I wanted to stay. I could tell she loved me more deeply than anyone else on earth, even if my family in Tennessee loved me, too. I never again brought up going back to "mama and daddy's" for good.
It wasn't long after that where I asked why I had two mamas and two daddies, and she explained that the people I called Mama and Daddy were actually my grandparents.
When I addressed my grandfather as "Granddaddy," after that, he wouldn't speak to me for two days. It was hard, but I was persistent because I loved my Granddaddy more than anyone else on earth outside of my parents. I pursued him constantly, dogging his every step, talking incessantly to him. He couldn't resist me. I was the child he carried with him to chop wood, taking with us my diapers and bottles back when I lived with them.He adored me, no matter what I called him and finally gave in.
So, at a young age I knew what it was like to have people to desperately love me, and to sacrifice for me, too. It was easy for me to see at a young age how God could love me and want me, too, but I had to love Him back and pursue Him, and call out to Him. I not only accepted the love, but I had to want a relationship and love back, just as I did with my mother and my granddaddy.