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.
“14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed our message?’ 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: ‘Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.’ 19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, ‘I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.’ 20 And Isaiah boldly says, ‘I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.’ 21 But concerning Israel he says, ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.’”
In verse 16, Paul stated “But not all of the Israelites accepted the good news.” Sadly, most of Paul’s brothers rejected his message. This is why he prayed so earnestly for them; remember when he said that it was his “heart’s desire that they would be saved?” Their refusal to listen to the gospel was an ever-present grief for Paul, so much so that he quoted Isaiah when he said “Lord, who has believed our message?” It’s interesting that Paul quoted this line from Isaiah because it’s from a passage known as the “suffering servant,” a prophesy about Christ (Isaiah 53). It shows how the Messiah—Jesus—would suffer for the sins of all people. Who would believe that God would choose to save the world through a humble, suffering servant rather than a glorious king? Paul’s answer was the same as Isaiah’s. Essentially, he’s saying “Not many.” Just like the Israelites of Isaiah’s day, many of Paul’s brothers rejected the truth of the gospel.
Like Paul and Isaiah, when it comes to sharing the gospel, we could say, “Lord, who has believed our message?” The gospel is such good news, yet so many today refuse to listen to it. The gospel is contrary to human pride and worldly ways. Many people fail to capture the grandeur of God when we try and put His actions into human understanding. Remember that He is Sovereign, Holy, unchanging, all-powerful, and He’s timeless. It doesn’t take us long to realize that we are none of these., yet humanity lives with great pride in our abilities—however limited they are.
The simple truth is this…many people over the centuries leading up to, and including today, miscalculate the importance of Jesus’ life and work. Therefore, they need faithful believers—Christ followers—to point out His extraordinary nature. It’s true! If you’re a believer, a follower of Christ, you’re one of the people God has given the privilege and honor of proclaiming His goodness. How do we do this? We do it by taking opportunities to share the gospel with folks God has put in our lives. It’s not as hard as we may think; we just live out what’s inside us and let what’s in our heart come out of our mouth. Make sure you remember this: we don’t save anyone, that’s not our job—that’s the work of the Holy Spirit. What we do is faithfully give testimony to the power of Christ in our lives; we share the gospel.
Who has God given you the opportunity to share the Gospel with? Will you share the gospel 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 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.