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.’”
As Terry pointed out this week, Paul’s primary reason for writing this passage was to show us that God made sure Israel had access to the good news; Paul didn’t write it as a challenge to send out missionaries.
Nevertheless, there is a clear application in our passage for us to know that God does send people to preach, so others can hear the good news.
I remember the first time I shared the gospel. It was during Desert Shield/Storm. We had deployed to King Khalid International Airport in Saudi Arabia. I was a new Christian and had been walking with God for only a few months. At the base, there were folks from other units from across the United States. I ended up working with a guy from upstate New York. I can’t even remember his name now, but I really liked him. Believe me, he was anything but a Christian. The Lord allowed us to hit it off and in just a few weeks we became pretty good friends. I remember sharing my faith with Him. At first, he didn’t want to hear any of it, but as time went on he began to open up to it. I would tell him about my church friends, about giving my life to Christ, and how I was done with partying….and just being stupid.
I remember carrying my Bible out to the flight line everyday and reading through it; I seem to remember reading Psalm 91 to him. That psalm gave me great comfort. As I think back on this time, I didn’t have any clue about what I was doing. Many times I’d just open the Bible and wherever it opened up to is where I’d start to read. That was my reading plan! It’s funny to me now. Obviously, I didn’t know what I was doing; I just knew I needed to be in God’s word, so that’s what I did.
Another guy and I shared the gospel with him one day as we sat on the wing of our aircraft. I’m sure I messed it up, but I do remember telling him “You’ve got to place your faith in Jesus; you’ve got to trust your life with Him.” It was the first time I had ever done that. You know what his response was? He didn’t respond! We just kind of sat there. At some point, we got up and went about our responsibilities that day.
A week or so later; I was preparing to leave for Spain for some major repairs that needed to be done on my aircraft. As best as I can remember, my friend came to my aircraft and told me, “I did it…I did what you said to do.” I was taken back and wasn’t sure what to do. I had just started to walk with Jesus myself! I think I told him, “You’ve got to read the Bible.” I didn’t have much time to tell him anything else. Honestly, I didn’t really know what to tell him. However, I do remember the excitement he had. He gave me hug, and I remember his smile.
My point in telling you this story is to encourage you to be faithful to share with those God has brought into your life. You don’t have to have it all together; you don’t have to be a theologian. You only have to faithfully share the good news.
*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.