Category: Daily Devotionals

Focal Passage:  Romans 9:1-13

Romans 9:3 “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.”

Do our hearts break as Paul’s did over the lost souls who do not know Christ?  Though Paul attests to and confirms over and over that God is supremely sovereign and that He elects His children, bestowing grace where He chooses, the apostle does not sit back callously and “let things be.”  His heart is utterly broken over his Jewish brothers and sisters, so much so that he says he would give up his own place in God’s kingdom so that they might know Him.  Knowing the grace God freely chooses to give to His children should bring us to such a point of tenderness and humility that we overflow with grace toward others, most especially toward those who do not know Him.  It is extremely healthy and spiritually introspective for each of us to examine our hearts daily to be sure they are as tender towards others as Paul’s was.  After all, without an exponentially larger tenderness from our Father, we too would be lost.

Study/Meditation:  Read what Jesus taught in Luke 6:27-36.  What did our Savior teach us about showing mercy to even our enemies?

*Father, give me a heart full of mercy to all of mankind, having a tender disposition toward those who need You as I do.  Thank You for showing me so much more than this first.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 9:1-13

Romans 9:1-2 “I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.”

Before moving headlong into what is likely one of the most difficult chapters in all of God’s Word, we must identify Paul’s purpose for writing it.  He was dealing with a very specific and significant question from his fellow Israelite brothers and sisters and in this question also lays the underlying question of many today, both Gentile and Jew.  The question was:  “If God chose Israel to be His and He promised Abraham and David and Isaac and others that Israel was His chosen people, then why when this supposed Messiah came to bring back the Davidic kingship did the Israelites reject Him?  Did God’s promises?”  And in Paul’s answer comes the questions for today.  His answer to the Jews was:  “The only way to understand this is to understand God’s individual electing love.  God’s sovereign grace is God’s sovereign choice.”  Consequently, in answering the questions about God’s promises to the Jews, Paul explains the importance of understanding election and sovereignty to the rest of us.  His introduction in verses 1 and 2 is simply an expression of how much his heart hurt at his fellow kinsmen’s choices regarding Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
The following days of our study will be supremely significant in understanding this important doctrine.  Let us prayerfully move forward and embrace the sanctity of God’s Word and the truth of what He tells us in it.  Let our hearts be moved just as Paul’s was for the purity that lies within this Book.

Study/Meditation:  What is your first reaction to the words “election” and “predestination” as they appear in the Bible?  On what do you place this view?

*Father, open my eyes to Your Word.  Give me the ability to see past my own heart into the truth of Yours.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:38-39 “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

It seems as if hope can be dashed in an instant.  Oftentimes it looks like there is no security in anything.  Kingdoms collapse, dreams are shattered, people leave or disappoint.  On what can we always count?  What can never be driven from us?  Paul has already told us in verse 35 that nothing earthly can separate us from God’s love, and now in verses 38-39 he tells us that nothing even in the spiritual realm can separate us from the love of the Father.  God loved us, He chose us to be His before the foundation of time.  Everything that is only exists because He deems it to be so.  If we have been set aside as His children, His chosen ones, then we must let our hope and our security and our assurance be in the fact that that love overarches His creation.  Nothing—absolutely nothing—can separate us from Him.  This is hope.  This is security.  This is love.

Study/Meditation:  Read Ephesians 6:10-20.  How do these instructions from Paul correlate to what he is reminding us of here in Romans?

*Father, thank You for loving me so fully and completely and securely.  Help me to remember to set my hope and my mind on the steadfastness of Your great love.  Amen.

Focal Passage: Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:36-37 “As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

As Paul quotes from Psalm 44:22 in verse 36, he is reminding us that it has always been and will always be the lot of God’s children to suffer in this world. But notice that he says “For your sake” the suffering occurs. The persecution unifies us with our Lord Jesus Christ in His sufferings, further signifying our fellowship with Him. Then Paul tells us that in these persecutions and trials of this life, as enumerated in the previous verse, we are “more than conquerors.” That is truly amazing. One would think that once one conquered something, that he or she won; it’s over. But Paul says we are even more than that. We more than conquer in these trials through God, and not in spite of the trials or even just because of the trials. It is through God who loves us that “in all these things we are more than conquerors,” and this conquering speaks to our eternal destiny with this very God who brings us through them. Our triumph is more than winning; it’s forever with our Lord.

Study/Meditation: Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. How does what Paul writes in this letter to the Corinthian church also speak to being more than a conqueror through God in trials?

*Father, help me see the problems and trials of this life as instruments of Your grace bringing me to the triumph of eternity. Help me remember to have an eternal perspective on all things rather than a temporal one. Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”

Paul has gone to great lengths to remind us that even our sin cannot separate us from God.  His justice has been satisfied when Christ took on all of our sins on the cross and cried, “My God, My God!  Why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)  He took the separation we deserve in that moment so that we would forever know union with our Heavenly Father.  Paul continues making his point now by arguing from the greater to the lesser.  In other words, he’s saying, “If your very own rebellion against the Holy of Holies doesn’t separate you from Him, then what else in this world can?”  No earthly contingency, no earthly circumstance, no earthly exigency can ever separate us from God’s love.  Paul knew that the Roman Christians were about to endure the persecution of Nero, so they would need this reminder.  We do, too.  Nothing can affect nor diminish our God’s love for us.  There is great comfort and peace in setting our minds on this great truth.

Study/Meditation:  What does it mean to you that nothing in this world can take God’s love away from you?  In what ways can you be sure to keep this truth focal in your day to day life?

*Father, thank You for Your great and enduring love.  Thank You for never leaving nor forsaking me, loving through and in spite of all things on this earth.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:31-39

Romans 8:34  “Who is to condemn?  Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”

In the face of the fear we all face regarding the assurance of our salvation, on what do we place our trust that it is secure?  Paul reminds us that although God’s justice is just, that is that there is a due penalty that must be paid for the sins we commit, His justice has also been satisfied in the death of Jesus.  Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, died on the cross of Calvary in restitution for the sins that we commit so that the verdict levied on us will always be “Not Guilty.”  But even more than that, this Jesus who bore the pain and sorrow of our sins was raised from this death and then seated at the right hand of God.  This signifies that He is God, given all power and reign over the universe.  If the King of kings and the Lord of lords paid our due penalty and now sits on His throne ever making sure that all things work together for our good, how can we fear condemnation?  He is our Savior, our Lord, and our King.

Study/Meditation:  What things make you fear condemnation in your own life?  On what can you meditate that gives you assurance that these things have been paid for and that you do not stand condemned before the eyes of God?

*Father, thank You for saving one such as me.  Thank You that I have assurance that I will not stand condemned on that Great Day.  Amen.