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Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs so that the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: ‘Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.’ Again, it says, ‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people.’ And again, ‘Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and sing praises to Him, all you peoples.’ And again, Isaiah says, ‘The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in Him.’ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Understand / Apply:
As we close out our time in this passage for the week, consider the implications of living a gospel centered life. That’s really what Paul is talking about here.
David Zahl captures what a grace filled life looks like today. I was encouraged by his thoughts and I thought I’d share them with you today. He writes:
A grace-centered view of the world takes for granted that we are all severely handicapped in our ability to love one another, and that we stand a better chance of loving our neighbor (or spouse) when we aren’t looking to them to do or be what they cannot do or be. Christian hope, therefore, lies in not having to generate love on our own steam but in prior belovedness, expressed in sacrificial terms and in spite of our being undeserving. This kind of love, which is by definition divine, seeks out the unlovable and finds before it is found. It satisfies rather than introduces expectations. If the law commands that we love perfectly, the gospel announces that we are perfectly loved.
Moreover, grace runs directly counter to a culture where technology has made our every misstep or lapse in judgment searchable and permanent. You don’t have to be an ex-con to find yourself beholden to a rap-sheet long after the sentence has been served, the debt paid. Even preteens know that your infractions are out there for anyone with an Internet connection to find. A friend once described the Internet as “just like the real world, with all the forgiveness vacuumed out.” Politicians talk of “the right to be forgotten” and wonder if it could ever be possible among a scorekeeping species. The bad news is that it isn’t. The good news is that what is impossible with man is possible with God.
It sounds like faith expressing itself in love. If we live like this, we can’t help but praise and glorify the Lord.
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest. Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.