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52 Weeks in the Word: A Journey Through Romans 8: Trillia Newbell

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
November 29, 2023 5:15 am

52 Weeks in the Word: A Journey Through Romans 8: Trillia Newbell

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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November 29, 2023 5:15 am

Author and trusted Bible teacher Trillia Newbell pulls you through the rich themes of Romans 8—like suffering, perseverance, hope, and the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as followers of Jesus.

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We will read something, and then we will forget. And we will forget the gospel.

We will forget everything that we read. So, he repeats it again. We need a reminder that he is with us in suffering. So, you see it in Romans 5.

You see it in Romans 8. Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott, and your hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson.

You can find us at This is Family Life Today. Music All right, so I'm a little competitive with you. Oh, really? And we're not talking about sports now. Are you? Oh. But, no, I'm talking about you always kick my butt in reading the Bible.

I'm still mad about this. You're always ahead of me. You're like, catch up.

I'm on day whatever, and I'm 10 days behind. That's because I need Jesus more than you do. No.

That's because you're just more diligent. No. You know what the secret is.

This is what I found. What is the secret? At least for me, because I've been doing it so long. I told Dave when he started, I said, here's the secret, because a lot of people start in the new year that they're going to read the entire Bible through in the year. If you miss, if you're on vacation, or kids come, or whatever's happening, and you're in a one-year Bible plan, what you think is, oh, I missed a couple days. Maybe I missed five. Maybe I missed two weeks. Do not go back and try to catch up all those days. Start on the day that you're on today, and then if you have time, maybe catch up. That's what you didn't do.

I didn't do that. I always feel like I've got to go back. I don't want to miss a single day. And I said, you're going to read it for years, so you'll hit that next year. But we've got somebody really smart in here today, because Trillia Newbell wrote a year-long Bible study, and she didn't put dates on it, so you don't feel guilty if you miss. See, she's so smart.

Yeah, and she's over there laughing at us, having this conversation. I think you're adorable, both of you. It's really fun to watch. Trillia Newbell is back, and welcome back. We love having you with us. Thank you.

It's been a joy and refreshing to be here. Your book is called 52 Weeks in the Word, and here's what it is, not just a devotional. It's a companion for reading through the Bible in a year.

What does it mean that it's a companion? It means you need your Bible. If you don't have your Bible, you won't be able to do 52 Weeks in the Word. I mean, literally, you've got to have a Bible.

You have to have a Bible. It's not in your book. This is not the Bible.

The plan's in your book, but the Bible's got to be your own. Which is pretty great, because we all need to be in the Word. Absolutely, and it provides space for writing.

So as you're reading through the Scriptures in a year, you can reflect on what you've learned. And it's been fun to look at my own, because I'm doing it, and it's how full things get. And so it's a joy to be able to provide the resource, but also to read the Word and to reflect immediately. Trillia, share with our listeners what you do, because you're an author.

You've written a lot. What else do you do? You know, I also work at Moody Publishers, and so I'm an acquisitions director, which doesn't mean anything to you all. It means I get to look for books and give people contracts. And it's a joy to get to serve in that way.

And I write and speak, and I'm a mom to two lovely children and a wife for 20 years. Is that right? Yep.

Twenty years! Look at you go. Yes, yes. And so that's pretty great. Yeah, so talk about how the Word has hit you in different times of your life. You've got highs, mountains, you've got valleys. Is there anything that comes to your mind when you think about this? Because as we walk through it over this next year, we're going to be reading it on days when we're on top of the world, on days we're struggling. Absolutely.

Absolutely. You know, when I became a Christian at the age of 22, one of the first things I did was start digging into the Word. So I'd read and read and read and read and read and read. And the Lord was storing up treasure that I didn't realize.

I didn't realize at the time that I was reading and storing up stuff that I would need later. So six, seven years later, I am trying to have children and I've experienced four miscarriages. But after the second one, I was so despondent. I was very, very sad.

Dark night of the soul, whatever you want to call it. I was sad. And I remember barely being able to get my head off the—I was just so—I was fuzzy.

I couldn't really read. And so I remember one time just in bed and I was crying out to the Lord, asking for help. And one by one, He brought Scripture to mind.

And I could cry, but I hadn't been reading because I felt fuzzy. And I remember, like, He draws near to the brokenhearted. He will never leave nor forsake me, that He holds me up by His righteous right hand. And so I'm hearing these things in my head and He's recalling them, the Spirit is, because I'd been reading His Word. And so He was reminding me of His character and His goodness and His grace in a desperate time. You had stored up treasures.

Storing up these treasures that I didn't even know that would come back. And so it's been an encouragement to me to keep reading because it's not just that we will need the Bible, but we need God. Does that make sense? It's one and the same. It's one and the same. It's His Word.

Yeah. And so for Him to be so kind as to remind myself of His character, of who He is, because I had been reading all those years, I just thought, what? None of it's wasted. None of it's wasted. And so for your listeners, you will not waste a single moment in His Word. It will not be wasted. It never returns void. Yes, He will return it to you and there will be riches and wisdom and comfort and joy.

So that's the time and a season when I really needed the Lord and He was so gracious. But there's lots of other ones. Well, I was thinking, I talked to a young woman who's really struggling getting pregnant. They've been married a while and she hasn't been able to get pregnant. And one of the things that she told me was she said, Ann, I want you to know, I listen to family life today because I'm having to listen to it. I can't get through the day because she said the same thing. She goes, my heart is so dry in some ways that I just don't have the capacity right now today to be in the Word. I feel so exhausted.

I'm depressed and I'm struggling. But she said, it feels like that's lifting me out of the pit so that I do have the energy. And I'm reminded God is faithful.

God is there. And so I love that God did that for you of all the times you had stored up the Word. But I'm interested, like, so what happened? You said that was after miscarriage number two. Had you had any kids yet?

No. So, yeah, yeah. So that was what was very hard. Because you're wondering. I was like, well, can we? Can we have children? And so then I got pregnant with Weston. So I did have a child. Two. I have two children.

Were you scared when you got pregnant? This is your fifth? One, two, three. No, it was my third.

Oh, I got you. I had a total of four. But yeah, so my third pregnancy and actually my, not to get too medical, but I almost lost him. I got in the hospital and was bleeding and I thought, this is it, which breaks my heart to think about because he's such a gift. But he survived and, sorry.

That had to be a scary and then wonderful because were you afraid that you were going to lose him? Oh, I was mortified. And the Lord, I remember having to be okay also.

Okay. Like, God, you're still good. Even if you lose him. You're still good.

Even if I lose him. But I didn't. But yeah, so I was doing a lot of preaching to myself. And it's times like that when you really realize what you believe.

You know, it's what you believe comes out. And as we said, this is why I need to be in the Lord. You probably felt like too, like I am desperate for you guys.

Desperate for the Lord. And he was, again, faithful to meet me. And he would have been faithful regardless, right? So then I had Weston and I had two more miscarriages. One, where the doctor shared the gender of the baby, which was really hard. So we buried a name because we named, anyways.

And then we thought, okay, I'm not going to, Weston's it. And we were very content just to have our boy. And what a blessing.

Just content. And then, surprise, you're pregnant. And it was kind of a gift that she, Sydney, was a surprise.

Because I didn't have time to work. I was just, all of a sudden, I was like, I think I'm pregnant. And I was in the Lord. So that was your sixth pregnancy? That was my sixth pregnancy, yes. You're going to have a lot of babies in heaven.

Yes. Lots of reuniting and seeing. Let me ask you, Trillia, I know that we're talking about, it's really a devotional, 52 weeks in the Word. Talk to the mom that's either struggling with infertility or has just had miscarriages and she's lost. She's lost. She's just lost right now.

Like, what do I do? She loves, she knows Jesus. And she's wondering, is he hearing her prayers?

Yes. Well, I can affirm and tell you, he hears your prayers. The Scriptures say that Jesus is always interceding. He lives to make intercession for us.

So he is always interceding. And in Romans 8, there's a Scripture that says that when our groanings are too deep for words, the Spirit prays what we can't. So you are covered in prayer and intercession.

So he hears you. But know also that God is good and he's faithful. What I needed to hear was that God does draw near to the brokenhearted. And what was good for me to hear is that I didn't have to do anything. Oh, see, that's good.

He was drawn near to me. And he loves to care for us and to love us. And I would encourage you, if you even camp out on just Psalm 23 and just read it over and over and over and over and over again. And if you can't read it, play it. Play it. Just listen to it.

Yes. But get into Psalms. Those are some really helpful ways to help navigate lament and crying out and understanding sorrow. And thank you, Lord, for the Psalms and for putting it in there.

But that might be just one way to get in the Word. And if you can't, as Ann said, if you can't read it because you're too sad, listen, listen to it. But also, God provides worship. God moves in a mysterious way. And there's just a lot of things, I think, that the Lord, He cares for you.

I don't have a word for fixing it. But I do believe that Jesus, He wept. He was sad. He was a man of sorrows. He understands.

And that I can tell you. I think even reading scripture, as you go into Samuel and you read about Hannah not being able to get pregnant and just her yearning and her cry to God of, do you hear me? And her lament was so real. I think so many of us can identify, maybe not with exactly what she was experiencing, but just that cry and lament to God. And every time it says in scripture that a person cried out to God, it says, and he heard her.

He heard them. Yeah, well, you mentioned Romans 8. Yes. And Anne and I did 52 Weeks in the Word this past week. So we're reading quite a bit of scripture, actually. It is a lot. There's quite a bit.

It is a lot. And then you're making comments. And you wrote a whole Bible study on Romans 8, so you're the scholar. I mean, yeah, seriously. When you dive in and write, I mean, I know what you mean.

But obviously— It's been a little while. One of the great verses is verse 1. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. But, you know, as Paul, in Romans 7, writes this amazing testimony about his journey of struggle. And so many of us, when we read it, are like, that's in the Bible? One of the most spiritual men ever, the apostle Paul, struggled like me. He wants to do the right thing, but he constantly— And at the end of that, verse 24, he says, Who will deliver me from this body of death?

He's talking about his own physical struggle, body. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. And we know when this was written, there wasn't a chapter break. Paul just went on to say, which we now know, chapter 8, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Bam! I don't know, Trillia, what you want to say about that, but that truth there of no condemnation for us in Christ, help us understand what that means. Bring that to life. Absolutely. Well, for us to really understand that there's no condemnation, we need to understand that we should be condemned. Like, that we deserve wrath. Like, we deserve the punishment that we don't get. Because there's no condemnation that we don't have to stand condemned or accused, or as if what we've done is full of guilt. We can be free because Jesus does not condemn us, though we deserve to be condemned. We deserve to be punished for our sin. So, because there's no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, we can approach His throne of grace.

We can cry out to Him. We can receive His grace. We can live and walk in the Spirit, which actually, Romans 8, most of it is about the Spirit. I think, and I could have this statistic a little wrong, but I think the Holy Spirit is mentioned more in Romans 8 than all of the Scripture, or at least the New Testament.

It's wild. Anyways, and so, because there's no condemnation, we have freedom and grace, and we can walk in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel. So, I think there's freedom, and I love this because it says, because through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit, who gives life, has set you free. I love that.

Yes. We don't have to be slaves to our sin. We can be, we're free because of what Jesus has done. So, when Paul is wrestling, he is wrestling with that sin that he's been, he's like, when I want to do good, sin is right there. Ah, what can free me? Christ!

It's the same thing. And when I fail, there's no condemnation. I can run and receive forgiveness because Christ has set me free. I remember, I think I was, I was young. I was still a teenager. I was 16 when I gave my life to Jesus, but I can remember starting to read the Bible. I had never, I had no idea what was in the Bible. But I can remember reading Romans, and I remember thinking, I'm not worthy to be before him. I am not worthy. There's nothing in me.

Just because of what I had done, of the sexual abuse that I've gone through, I felt so dirty. And so, when I read, like, I am free and there's no condemnation in Christ, that was mind-boggling to me. And I've shared this before, but I read, so in your 52 weeks in the Word, what it has is like, like I read this day, it's day five. It says, read Romans five through eight.

And then it gives, your book gives us some ideas of things to think about. Like, number one, what do you learn about God and his character in these verses? Number two, these are just things to think about as you're reading. Where is Jesus in these chapters? Which is interesting because you say that even in the Old Testament. Where's Jesus in these chapters and where do you see the gospel? Even in the Old Testament. And then number three is, how might you apply these verses to your life? And so, I read Romans five.

Now, it's so funny because I just highlighted everything and here's what I remember about what I'm gonna read. Let me read it to you. It's so much like Romans eight. It says, therefore, since we have been justified, how? Through faith, we have, listen to that word, instead of freedom, we have peace. Peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then you'd go down to verse three. It says, not only so, but we also, we glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance, character. And then character, hope. I'm thinking about you with your miscarriages. I thought like when times I've gone through like times of suffering, that was reassuring to me.

And then hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who's been given to us. And so, I read through. I have, everything's highlighted.

I'm looking at it, it's all highlighted. I love that. I'll never forget, I'll never forget when I really started reading God's word, I was 17 and I was reading Romans five. If you've never read Romans, it's the most incredible book in Paul's teaching. So I took, I've shared this before, I took this Bible and this is what I had underlined, all these verses in Romans. And you know, I'm a brand new Christian. I was so, I was like, are you kidding me?

This is what the Bible says? And I pushed it over. Our listeners remember me possibly saying it. I pushed the Bible in class.

This is during class in high school. I push it to my friend, Carolyn, like, read this. I whispered, read this. And I was so annoying. And she takes my Bible, you've heard this, and she rips out all the pages in Romans. And I'm like, oh my. Ripped it out.

Ripped it out. And she goes, don't ever talk to me about this again. You know, and I'm like, oh, I failed. I went home, I felt like such a failure. But then what do I do? I get an alert, like, Lord, I don't know what to do. I'm failing.

You just need you to talk to me. And he said, there's no condemnation. Yeah, there's no condemnation. But I also read, like, if you're persecuted for my name's sake, rejoice.

Yes, yes, yes. I was just thinking, ah. That is, you know, and there's something else. And for some reason, I cannot find the verse. I'm looking up this verse.

But one of the things, as you were talking, that I thought, you know, you'll see in the Scriptures repeated themes. So it's not a surprise to me that Romans 5 reflects so much of what's in Romans 8, which is like the culmination. Romans 8, it's the gospel. When we are still sinners, Christ died for us. And it's saying it all over Romans.

All over. I love that he talks about condemnation twice as well. So Romans 8, it starts out, there's no condemnation. Then when you get to Romans 8, 31, what then shall we say in response to these things? So all these glorious things that we know about the gospel and how the implications of that. If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against those whom God has chosen is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns?

So there's a reason for this. We forget. We will read something, and then we will forget. And we will forget the gospel.

We will forget everything that we read. So he repeats it again. We need a reminder that he is with us in suffering. So you see it in Romans 5? You see it in Romans 8, that suffering is only temporary. You see it in Corinthians. Suffering is only momentary.

James. Yeah. Yeah, it's always. Yeah. So God is really kind to do that, I believe. But I call us leaky vessels.

Yeah. We leak. We leak.

We forget. We need a reminder of who God is and what his word says about who he is so that we can apply it rightly to our lives and walk it out. So I'm really grateful for that.

Me too. And it's also, you know, as I'm sitting here, I'm thinking it's hard to explain, if you haven't experienced it, the joy we're experiencing right now from the word of God. It's our milk. It's our meat. It's our life.

Yeah. I mean, Jesus is the living word, but the written word is life-giving. I mean, just listening to you two talk about it, it's like joy's filling the room.

Ew. And it's a book. But it isn't a book. It's God's word. It's the inspired breath of God, 2 Timothy. It's like, it's his word. Living and active. Yeah, it's not inspired like a song's inspired.

It is the word of God. Dave, share with our listeners, maybe you shared this recently about being with the missionaries, the men who lived in and came to Christ in Afghanistan. Yeah, we were doing a, we went to Afghanistan.

We're actually in Dubai. Because Afghanistan was too dangerous. And our church supported a lot of missionaries that literally went into the Afghan mountains with Bibles. And they were from that area.

Yeah. And they would go in as soldiers undercover. Because if you gave a Bible or brought a Bible out to the wrong person, you could be killed. And so we didn't go into the mountains. We couldn't go in. They came out of the mountains and met us at a private house where we would shoot video to bring back to America to our church. So it was all undercover. They had to come in under at night. It was just, you know, if somebody saw them. So it was sort of scary.

But anyway, we're setting up this video in this living room and lights and tripod and our video team was there and I was going to interview a couple of these, I call them soldiers because they were warriors for the kingdom. And I had my Bible and I was going to use it or something, but I wasn't going to use it in the video. So I just took it and I just, I was sitting near the floor. And I just put it on the carpet to get it out of the way so we could do this video. And I watched this guy walk over and pick up my Bible. And he kisses it and he puts it on a table. And I said something. I said, hey, what are you doing? And he just said, this is the word of God.

You do not put it on the ground. And I remember thinking their reverence for something, I just flippantly, oh, we got it on our phone. We have it everywhere. And it's beautiful that we do.

But at times we can become so comfortable. It's like just, and he just reminded me, this is God's word. Word of life. And the amazing thing is within 18 months, they were all killed. For their faith, sharing the gospel.

Because they took it. And let me tell you, they had story after story of people they'd meet in the mountains and they would slip the word of God to them and they'd baptize people, undercover the whole time. And it was the word of God came alive. And I mean, your 52 weeks in a word is a gift. It really is. Thank you.

That's encouraging. But wow, I just, they're part of the Hall of Fame of faith. That Hebrews 11, at the end of Hebrews 11, the writer basically says, and all the people we can't reference because there's so many people. And that is, remember those who were persecuted in prison.

And so anyways, I just am really moved by that. But I also think there's a bit of conviction when we think about those countries or people who they're having to go undercover in order to read. But we have them all over.

I mean, like everywhere. We have such access. And so we just talked about there is no condemnation. So for those of you who've not read your Bible, there's no condemnation. Now read a bit.

Read it. And I think this time of year, I know if you're especially a woman, if you're like me, you're thinking about Christmas, you're thinking about gifts coming up, who's getting what, I want to encourage you. Think about us at Family Life today and Family Life. If you donate to Family Life, become a partner with us. We're going to send you 52 weeks in the Word by Trillia. And this could be a great present to give to kids, to your husband, to neighbors, to yourself. And we'll send this to you free.

Maybe you want to get several. This could be a really, really great gift to give. But also I want to remind you, think about yourself in terms of like you as a woman, as a mom, as a grandmother. We all need to be in the Word, and it's hard.

I know it is for men, but it is for women. So this could be a great New Year's resolution, a life resolution of being in the Word. I'm Shelby Abbott, and you've been listening to David Ann Wilson with Trillia Newbell on Family Life today. As Ann mentioned, this is one of those perfect things that you can get for the end of the year by partnering financially with us in our ministry. You get to link arms with us and be a part of what God is doing in the ministry of family life. But the bonus is you get a copy of Trillia Newbell's 52 Weeks in the Word. When you partner with us, we're going to send you a copy of her book. And thanks to the generosity of others, every gift you give between now and the end of the year will be matched dollar for dollar up to $2.5 million. That's incredible.

So you can go online to and click on the donate now button at the top of the page. And, you know, as people have done that, they've gone to our website, they have gone to places where they get their podcasts, and every now and then a listener just like you leaves us a review. And I wanted to read to you one of those reviews because I was super encouraged by it. This is what one listener said. My marriage is better and my family is better and I am better as a person from listening to this show. The hosts are so real. That is what really sets this podcast apart.

They're not trying to look perfect. They just show me how to live life in an authentic way without pretense, without stress, and without pressure. My family is more joyful, more forgiving, more loving just because I decided to listen and follow. Thank you. Well, thank you.

I am certainly encouraged by that. I love to hear that kind of feedback and how people are listening to and their lives are actually being changed. So again, if that's you and you want to help to be part of what we're doing here at Family Life Today, you can go online to our website,, and click on the donate now button at the top of the page. Or you can give us a call at 800-358-6329.

Again, that number is 800, F as in family, L as in life, and then the word today. And tomorrow, Kelly and Tabitha Kapic are going to be here to share their experiences with cancer, chronic pain, and caregiver roles, all while following their journey of faith. That's tomorrow. We hope you'll join us. On behalf of David Ann Wilson, I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of Family Life Today. Family Life Today is a donor-supported production of Family Life, a crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-29 06:54:04 / 2023-11-29 07:06:52 / 13

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