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.
Rom. 2:5, “5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed.”
“Stubbornness and your unrepentant heart…” The word translated as stubbornness is only found here in the New Testament. It means “hardness” and it comes from the word that means “harsh or hard”. The word “unrepentant” simply means a person that has no sense of regret; they’ve become unremorseful, they stand their ground and refuse to turn toward God. Understand that this is a dreadful place for a person to be. The sad thing is, when a person hardens himself or herself, they tend to move further into unrepentance. This leads to a hardening, a downward spiral.
Honestly, it’s a place where no one really wants to be. Why? Because when a person lives stubbornly with an unrepentant heart, they’re not storing up for themselves precious treasures. Just the opposite, they’re storing up divine wrath for themselves. Instead of escaping God’s wrath, they bring it upon themselves.
You and I need to understand that the Bible consistently presents God as loving sinners and wanting them to repent, but also as having a settled opposition to human rebellion. God is personal; He takes sin personally and we are personally responsible for our sin. This is where the gospel Paul was presenting in the book of Romans comes into play. Paul knew that humanity’s only hope was found in the truth of the Gospel. If a person places their trust in Christ, puts their faith in Him alone to save them, they will be rescued from a life separated from God, which is the pouring out of God’s wrath.
Listen, you and I, as believers in Christ, have much to be thankful for. If it hasn’t become clear yet, by the time we make it to Romans 3, you’ll see that all of humanity has sinned and all have come up short of the glory of God. None of us are innocent and we all deserve the punishment we’ve earned for our sins. But praise God that this is not the end of the story! God has given us a gift…and this gift is Jesus Christ! He died to pay the penalty of our sins and rescue us from eternal death. If we confess and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, we will be saved! There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!
This is a reality. It’s true, even though we now live in the in-between time, the already, not yet. We live in the flesh and the flesh is prone to want what it wants. The daily battles with temptation are won or lost based upon how fully we are surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit. We’re to live out Galatians 5:16, “Live by the Spirit, and you won’t gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” This is how we keep ourselves from becoming stubborn and hard.
Why don’t you take the next few minutes and ask God to reveal ways you’ve been stubborn and hard? Now confess it to Him and ask Him to help you to live filled by the Spirit.
Also, take some time to pray for those who don’t know Jesus, friends or family that have hardened their hearts toward God.
*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.