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.
Romans 1:8, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.”
In his writings, it was customary to find Paul thanking God for his readers. The only time Paul omitted thanks was in his letter to the Galatians; he was not very thankful to God for their attitudes and actions. They were trying to add to the gospel and were in effect removing its power to save. The fact that Paul did not always use the warm greeting in his letters shows us that he is not insincerely using customs and courtesies; he is genuinely thankful to God for their faith—a faith which has become a thing of “legend” in the known world.
Why do you think the Romans’ faith had become so widely known? In thinking through this question, it’s important to know that they were living in a culture hostile to their faith; they were often misunderstood and mistreated. Faith often blooms in the soil of trouble. “No pain, no gain” is often true for our faith.
What is the pain in your life right now? Everyone’s life is or is going to be messy. You don’t have to “enjoy” the pain, but it is important that you “gain” from it. “Gaining” from pain is not automatic. Some people become embittered, finding their faith shrinks rather than grows as a result of trouble. “Gaining” from pain requires perspective and confidence in God. God is faithful. God is good. You cannot spend your life measuring only by your own pain. To “gain from your pain” means you must continually look to the love of God revealed on the cross of Christ. Start this day by looking there…then at the difficulties you face.
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.