Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
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I love those tv shows with a chef's challenge of being blindfolded and asked to identify ingredients in a bite of some dish. It is the test of an educated palate and a skilled chef who knows how ingredients smell, taste, and how their texture feels. They now how seasonings, flavors interact with others when mixed together. That is how I feel this passage from Paul's letter to the Romans should be read. First, believe that a master chef has prepared this for our consumption. Next, linger over each word - identifying, defining, savoring the meaning and the power of it. Finally, consider the whole, rich portion of divine food. Taste. Be nourished. Read it again now. Words matter.
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Day by day, Lord, you feed us. Amen.