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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.
“I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
I love our passage for today. Paul is letting the Romans know that he understands that he has been called as a minister to the Gentiles. He knows too, that he has spoken quite plainly to them, even though he has never met them. they were “full of goodness,” intellectually they were “complete in knowledge,” and functionally they were “competent to instruct one another.” The believers in Rome were expected to help one another toward spiritual maturity. They were to advise and instruct one another. None were so wise that they had nothing more to learn, and none were so inept that they had nothing of value to share.
As I think about what Paul say’s in these verses I can’t help but get excited. It fills me with confidence because I know personally that I’ve got all that I need—right here, right now! I don’t have to have it all figured out. I have all I need to know to live a life that brings honor to God. There is just simply something liberating about knowing this. Yes, I’ve got much more to learn, and I’m sure in a few years from now I’ll look back and say, “I can’t believe I thought that way!” But this is a good thing… that means I’m moving forward in a life of direction not perfection.
I can’t help but think of what an encourager Paul must have been. It makes me think of the times I’ve had friends speak open and honestly with me. I can think of sometimes when my actions and motives have been critiqued. Yet, because of the trust I had for my friend, those words didn’t seem to come as words that beat me up, but instead, they were words of encouragement, words that spurred me on, words that made me want to be and do even better in the particular area of concern. I think that is what Paul is doing here—he’s encouraging his friends (even though he has not visited them yet) to lean in and fight the good fight!
What a wonderful thing to speak such strong, yet encouraging words to one another! I can’t help but think about how our small groups are a perfect place for this kind of relationship to foster and grow.
So where are you at? Do you have someone who speaks into your life on a regular basis, someone who encourages you to keep up the good fight? If not why? What is one thing you could do today to change your situation?
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(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.