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.
“9 Is this state of happiness only for the circumcised or is it also for those who aren’t circumcised? We say, ‘Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.’ 10 So how was it credited? When he was circumcised, or when he wasn’t circumcised? In fact, it was credited while he still wasn’t circumcised, not after he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that comes from the faith he had while he still wasn’t circumcised. It happened this way so that Abraham could be the ancestor of all those people who aren’t circumcised, who have faith in God, and so are counted as righteous. 12 He could also be the ancestor of those circumcised people, who aren’t only circumcised but who also walk in the path of faith, like our ancestor Abraham did while he wasn’t circumcised. (CEB)”
Paul showed us that God declared Jews and Gentiles righteous by their faith in Jesus. He also demonstrated the unity and continuity of God’s plan by using Abraham as an illustration. Abraham was declared righteous by faith, not by works or rituals or the law.
Take a few minutes and think about your own life right now. Are there ways you’re trying to earn God’s favor? Don’t be so quick to say “no”. Think about what you do during the day and what motivates you. Maybe it’s good works?
When Paul talked about “works,” like he did earlier in chapter 3, he cast a broad net, snagging many of us who might think that we could earn our way into God’s good favor. One of the assumptions of all religions in the Greco-Roman world of the first century A.D. was that you could enter into fellowship with the gods by doing the right things to please the gods. Gentiles, as well as Jews, would be inclined to see salvation as a result of their efforts…their works. But this, Paul said, was not true. It’s not just first century folks who think like this; you’ll see this same line of thought in people’s activity today. If you’ve found yourself in this boat, stop, and turn to Christ. You don’t have to clean up before you come; you just cry out to Christ for help. All you need to do is receive God’s grace in faith and allow it to transform your life.
*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.