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.
“6 It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Nor because they are His descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ 8 In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. 9 For this was how the promise was stated: ‘At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.’ 10 Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad— in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by Him who calls— she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ 13 Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’”
Understand / Apply:
Take some time and reflect on Tim Keller’s thoughts concerning the passage and ask God to help you make personal application:
“Does this mean that God is arbitrary? Does God choose people, in a sense, by saying: Eeny, meeny, miney, moe? No. Paul is not saying that God has no reasons. All we are told is that the reasons are not in us. There is no superiority of believers over unbelievers.
Why do we have to insist on the doctrine of election? It causes so many problems. Yes, ‘election’ causes many difficulties. But the best reason for accepting the doctrine is that every alternative creates even more problems and difficulties.
The first is this: without ‘election’ you compromise the central teaching of the Bible that we are saved by grace alone, not by our works. If the difference between the unbeliever and the believer is ultimately in us (a greater humility, a greater openness, etc), then we are the real authors of our salvation.
*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 out 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. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest; Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding, for leading (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.