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.
Romans 9:14-29 (Philips New Testament in Modern English),
Now do we conclude that God is unjust? Never! For God says long ago to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It is obviously not a question of human will or human effort, but of divine mercy. The scripture says to Pharaoh: For this very purpose did I raise thee up, that I might show in thee my power, and that my name might be published abroad in all the earth. It seems plain, then, that God chooses on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will harden in their sin. I can almost hear your retort: “If this is so, and God’s will is irresistible, why does God blame men for what they do?” But the question really is this: “Who are you, a man, to make any such reply to God?” When a craftsman makes anything he doesn’t expect it to turn round and say, “Why did you make me like this?” The potter, for instance, has complete control over the clay, making with one part of the lump a lovely vase, and with another a pipe for sewage. May it not be that God, though he must sooner or later expose his wrath against sin and show his controlling hand, has yet most patiently endured the presence in his world of things that cry out to be destroyed? Can we not see, in this, his purpose in demonstrating the boundless resources of his glory upon those whom he considers fit to receive his mercy, and whom he long ago planned to raise to glorious life? And by these chosen people I mean you and me, whom he has called out from both Jews and gentiles. He says in Hosea: I will call that my people, which was not my people; And her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall be, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, There shall they be called sons of the living God. And Isaiah, speaking about Israel, proclaims: If the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that shall be saved: For the Lord will execute his word upon the earth, finishing it and cutting it short. And previously, Isaiah said: Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, We had become as Sodom and had been made like unto Gomorrah.
Paul’s main takeaway for Paul’s readers is this: It’s not for humans to question their Creator’s fairness in designating some for election but not others, for as we can see, none deserve His mercy. We can hardly call Him to task for it. God has an indispensible right to do as he pleases with what he makes. It is only by virtue of His patience and mercy that even a remnant of stubborn, rebellious Israel survived his Judgement.
*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.