June Reading from The Message

June 3, 2024

Peace is not passive. We often view it as the absence of war, clamor, or bothersome neighbors. But here in the fifth chapter of Romans, Paul teaches that God pours into us instead of removing outside circumstances. When we let God in, he doesn’t turn us into hermits, but fills us with the Holy Spirit. And how our lives can expand and deepen with this resurrection life working in us!

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us.

We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next.

In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

6-8 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway.

We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

9-11 Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life!

Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

Scripture Insight

Having it All Together with God

“We have it all together with God” is the way I’ve translated the phrase “peace with God” in Romans 5:1 that appears in other translations.

Peace isn’t the passive quality of not being bothered; it’s the active life of being a participant in God’s work in his creation. We say, “Give me a little peace,” to children who pester us, and we mean for them to stop their incessant interruptions and questions. The peace the world gives—if it gives any at all—is a removal, a subtraction of something from us, what amounts to a diminishing of life. What Christ gives is an intensification, an increase, an addition to the lives we normally live. The kind of peace Jesus offers is “[having] it all together with God.” And when we have it all together with him, it paves the way to having it all together with ourselves and with others.

The Message Student Bible

Learn the essential context surrounding every book of the Bible as you fall in love with reading God’s Word. Students love the single-column, minimalist design that allows for comfortable reading as they find themselves leaning into the Bible to discover the surprises and wonders that await in Scripture. Take a look inside here.