Category: Daily Devotionals

Focal Passage:  Romans 1:16-17

Romans 1:17 “For in it (the gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’”

Paul says something astounding here.  If you and I had been writing this letter, we may have written something like, “For in the gospel is revealed the grace of God,” or “For in the gospel is revealed the love of God,” or the “mercy of God”—which is all true, by the way.  But Paul states the theme of this letter more completely by telling us that the gospel is revealed in the “righteousness of God.”  In other words, the gospel demonstrates God’s absolute and complete justice in the way He deals with us.  Because God didn’t simply sweep our sins under the rug and dismiss them but instead dealt fully with them, He brings us into union with Him in complete harmony with His righteousness.  If it had not been this way and we were aware of God’s righteousness and justice, there would have always been some doubt about the existence of our sin in light of His character.  However, it is God’s gospel and it is demonstrated in His righteousness.  We are secure.  How great is our God!

Study/Meditation:  Paul refers to the gospel as “the gospel of God” or “the gospel of Christ” in his letter to the Romans.  How does this also offer security in that it’s about what God did, not what we did that obtains salvation on our behalf?

*Father, You are holy and righteous.  Thank You for dealing with my sin in that righteousness so that I never doubt my eternity with You.  I love You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 1:16-17

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

This is probably one of the most well-known and often-quoted verses in the New Testament, and unfortunately that also means we sometimes skim over it without much thought.  Yet the very essence of who we are as believers is contained within these words.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is that eternal life has been made available through the working of the Holy Spirit to everyone who believes that Jesus is Lord and Savior.  It is available to all who place their trust in Him alone as God, who came as a man and died in their place, who was then resurrected and will return.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is our hope and our salvation—and we are not ashamed to proclaim it!  What a glorious truth, and we, like Paul, must live in light of this precious gift.  Sing it from the mountaintops:  Jesus Christ is Lord!  Believe on Him and be saved!

Study/Meditation:  Spend just a few minutes today, and every day, meditating on the truth of the gospel, then proclaim it, both in word and deed.

*Father, praise Your Name and the Name of Jesus Christ, the Name above all names!  Glory and honor and majesty are Yours!  Hallelujah and Amen!

Focal Passage:  Romans 1:1-15

Romans 1:14-15 “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.  So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.”

Is Paul saying here that the Greeks and barbarians, the wise and foolish have given him something so he is in some way indebted to them?  Paul is certainly saying that he is obliged to someone, but it’s not to anyone here.  Paul’s obligation is to God and this obligation is a result of what has been given to him by his Father.  When you receive this amazing, unmerited grace from God, the natural inclination should be to give back.  However, since God doesn’t need us, our return comes in the form of sharing Him with others, no matter who they are.  Good news is impossible to keep.  When we get it, we can’t wait to share it with someone.  Paul’s point is that we have the ultimate Good News; we should feel nothing less than obliged to share it with anyone and everyone.  On the contrary—we should be overjoyed and ecstatic to do so!

Study/Meditation:  Jesus spoke of us as the “light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14)  How is what Paul writes to the Roman Christians the same sentiment as that of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount?  How can you be more of a light to the world?

*Father, help me seize every opportunity that comes my way to be a light to this world.  Thank You for the awesome privilege to share Your Good News with others.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 1:1-15

Romans 1:13 “I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as the rest of the Gentiles.”

Paul wants the Roman Christians to know that he had been trying to get to them but that other things had been preventing him from doing so.  His heart, however, has been to come to them, and his intentions are clear.  He wants to come to them so that he can enrich their faith and spread the gospel among the others there.  He doesn’t say his intentions have been to vacation with them or for them to entertain him.  His goals are for their spiritual growth.  Once again, Paul exemplifies putting ourselves out of center and placing there the work of Christ.  Are your goals when you enter your local church to edify and enrich the faith of those there?  When you go to the supermarket, do you have in mind to do anything in your power while there to demonstrate the love of Christ?  As Paul shows us, we are to have the work of our Lord forever guiding the things that we do and ministering to the people we meet.

Study/Meditation:  In what instances today can you enrich those around you by either showing them Christ or telling them about Him?

*Father, help me see the opportunities to be the light You’ve ordained me to be and give me the courage to step out into those opportunities.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 1:1-15

Romans 1:11-12 “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”

Sometimes we attend our local church with an incorrect notion.  We attend a local church looking for how it can meet our needs.  We often choose our church based on whether or not the people in it do what we need or desire, or we attend one that offers what makes us feel the most loved.  Paul reminds us that the notion we should take to our believing community is one of selfless servitude—What can I do to serve the people of my church?  As a matter of fact, we ought to long to attend a church so that we can serve the people there.  And the beautiful thing is that in this selfless attitude, we are served more abundantly.  We build one another up in faith and the result is that our faith is built up.  Let us each go to worship together this week, not looking to be served, but instead centering on how we can serve each other.

Study/Meditation:  Why do we attend church?  Why should we attend?  In what ways can you improve your attitude in this area?

*Father, thank You for my church and my brothers and sisters in Christ.  Help me see the ways I can serve them and then step out and do so.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 1:1-15

Romans 1:9-10 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.”

The Romans Christians had never met Paul face-to-face, and he longed to see them just as they longed to see him.  He is encouraging them that this is so, that he prays for them daily and that in these prayers he asks earnestly that God would allow him to come to them in Rome.  There are a couple of things that should strike us in Paul’s introductory words.  First, Paul prays for his friends “without ceasing.”  He brings them before His Father daily so that his intercession might aid in keeping them until he can come to them.  We need to pray for our sisters and brothers throughout the world “without ceasing,” just like Paul.  Secondly, we see how Paul is always in a spirit of acquiescence to God’s will.  He very much longed to see the Roman Christians, but he knows that God’s purposes are always supreme, and he does not rebel against them.  Our Father is sovereign, and even though we ask longingly for the things of our hearts, we must do so resting in His perfect and good will.

Study/Meditation:  In what way must you pray so that you do so earnestly for your brothers and sisters and also acquiesce to God’s will?  How is this more an attitude of the heart than mere words?

*Father, I lift up to You all of the brethren throughout the world, particularly those You have gifted me with knowing personally.  Bless them and keep them.  Amen.