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.
“1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.”
Verse 2 is an amazing verse; there is a lot packed in this verse. Because of our faith in Christ, we’ve gained access into God’s grace. In fact, we now stand in it!
Think about that for a minute. To “gain access” means to: have the ability, right, or permission to approach, enter, speak with, or use. It means you have the privilege of admittance. When I was in the service, I had to have what was called a line badge to access the flight line. Without it there was no admittance; I was kept out. There were also other areas that I would not be allowed to enter unless I had the right credentials. The line badge was my permission to enter… it meant that an approving authority had approved me. This access was out of my control for the most part; it could only be gained through someone else.
The same is true for us as followers of Christ. Jesus ushers us into the presence of God—we gain access—through our faith in Him. The heavy curtain that once separated us from God has been removed (Matt 27:51). It’s as though a door was flung open and we were brought into and introduced to this new indescribable life of grace.
Here’s a story that may help capture the contrast. During the first Gulf War, I was deployed to Saudi Arabia. For four months the only colors I saw were different shades of browns and tans. Over time, I became accustomed to those colors; they became part of my everyday life.
When it came time for me to return home, my first stop was in England. It was springtime. The funny thing is, it never occurred to me that it was spring; I was just ready to get home. In fact, there were only a couple of small windows in the aircraft and I never looked outside. It wasn’t until I came down the crew entry chute and stepped on the ground that I realized what was going on. Everything was in bloom; I will never forget the vibrancy of the greens! The colors were so rich and dark. I remember standing there and just looking around in amazement. I went from a world of very few colors to one with all kinds of vibrant colors. The same sky I had looked at for months seemed to radiate with deep blues, even the clouds seemed to be almost pure white. I remember seeing the red brick in buildings and thinking how bright it seemed to be. I even reached down and touched the grass! It felt so good. As I write, I can’t help but think of it as peaceful.
I don’t know how long I stood there looking around; it probably felt longer than what it actually was. It’s a memory I will never forget. And yet, when compared to God’s grace in which we stand, it pales in comparison. In faith, we’ve responded to God’s righteousness and so we now stand within the sphere of God’s grace—we are right where God’s love and goodness are able to work on us and to produce in us a new kind of life.
Take some time today and think about what it means to stand in the sphere of God’s grace. “By grace you’ve been saved, through faith, and that not of yourself: it is a gift of God! (Eph. 2:8)” This is our confidence.
*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.