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.
33 “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! 34 ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?’ 35 ‘Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?’ 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
Paul reached the end of his arguments in Chapters 9-11. In verses 33-36, he breaks out into praise of God for His wonderful mercy in designing a way to save both Jews and Gentiles despite their disobedience. The plan of God for the salvation of all people demonstrates God’s infinite knowledge along with His ability to use it wisely. Paul got a glimpse of the magnificence of God’s plan and knows it is impossible to fully grasp it. He doubts if anyone can fully grasp it, but he himself is prepared to accept it and praise God for it. This leads him to breakout in praise.
It’s interesting to note that the NIV uses the title “doxology” when addressing these verses. Doxology is probably not a word most people give much thought to. The word “doxology” literally means a study of praise. However, dictionaries usually define the term as expressions of praise to God, often associated with a hymn sung during Christian worship. For instance, most Protestants would be familiar with Thomas Ken’s hymn, “The Doxology”, written in 1674:
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
The themes expressed in doxologies are certainly scriptural. They are declarations of praise to God.
If this is true—that doxology is a declaration of praise to God—then praising God should be something we do on a regular basis. I can’t help but praise the Lord when I think about what He has done for me. It may be hard at times to wrap my head around the mystery of God, but never-the-less, it doesn’t drive me away from Him, it drives me closer! In fact, there is a sense of comfort that floods over me when I think about God’s attributes. Even as I write this, I’m filled with praise! Why? Because I know that He is “abundantly able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (Eph. 3:20).”
Take some time to praise the Lord right now.
Read over the old hymn “My Hope is built on Nothing Less”. As you do, personalize it and think about all Christ has done for you.
1 My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
2 When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
in every high and stormy gale,
my anchor holds within the veil. [Refrain]
3 His oath, His covenant, His blood
support me in the whelming flood;
when all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay. [Refrain]
4 When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found,
dressed in His righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne. [Refrain]
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
Now offer Him your praise!
*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. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest. Romans 8-16 For You: For reading, for feeding (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.