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. 2:5-11, “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. 6 God ‘will repay each person according to what they have done.’ 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.”
When you read verse seven, you might think, “Hey, there’s a contradiction here. I thought Paul just said we were saved by faith alone (Romans 1:16, 17).” We can be assured that Paul is not contradicting what he had previously said. He affirms the truth that our justification is indeed by faith. We are not saved by good deeds- far from it- but instead, when we commit our lives fully to God, we have this longing inside us to please Him and do His will.
Good deeds can be seen as a grateful response to what God has done, not a prerequisite to earning His grace. Think back to chapter one when we talked about the “obedience that comes by faith.” If a person has truly given their life to God, you will know it by what they do. The presence or absence of a saving faith in our hearts will be revealed by the presence or absence of good works of love in their lives.
Take a moment to thank God for the work He has done on your behalf. Think about the fact that you have been given eternal life through Christ alone; there is nothing you can do to earn your salvation. How should we respond to the work Christ has done in our lives? Is there anything He would have you do today?
*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.