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.”
I like verse 36. Paul clearly saw God as the source, guide, and goal of all that is. Paul fully understood that the story of humanity began with God, was shaped by God, and will reach the end that God designed. Think about that for a moment. Essentially, Paul is telling us that God is the source of every good, He is the active agent in sustaining and controlling the universe, and He is the object for which everything has been created. Everything is designed to bring glory to Him. And why? Because all things find their origin in Him! This truth—this reality—is what led Paul to break out with shouts of “Praise and glory forever!”
Maybe you can see the point Paul was making. We’ve been looking at it from the macro; now, let’s take it to the micro. From God’s plan for redemption and salvation in history, down to His plan for your redemption. Personalize what Paul wrote.
Can you see God as the source, guide, and goal of your life?
The story of your life begins with God. Think back to the time He came into your life. The way He worked and spoke through various people and situations while leading you to Himself. I can think of several times God intervened in my life to keep me from making stupid decisions–the type that could have had huge implications for my life. I didn’t see it as God moving back then, but once He got ahold of my life, I could definitely see His hand of protection, even when I wasn’t living for Him.
Now that you’re walking with Him, how has He guided you? How has He used people and different situations? How has He given you wisdom through His Word? Think of a time when the Holy Spirit spoke to you directly. There have been times in my life when I know the Holy Spirit plainly spoke to me about a situation. In one particular case, He protected Patty and I from a terrible situation and it led directly to us going to River for the first time. From the moment we went to River, we knew we were supposed to be there; it was home and has been for 23 years!
Finally, think about God as being the goal for all that is your life. Have you ever thought about that? He should be. This can be the hardest thing for us to get our heads wrapped around. One reason is because there are so many other things fighting for our attention. The truth is…there’s an enemy who wants to keep you and me sidelined. If that wasn’t bad enough, there is also our sinful flesh that we battle against—our own desires. Many things like lust, sex, wealth, status, material belongings, image, selfishness, and a host of other things work against living with Christ as the Goal.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen just how foolish many of the things we chase after truly are. The Book of Ecclesiastes is a book that chronicles the meaninglessness of a life lived without God at the center of it. The book ends with this, “Fear God and keep His Commandments.” In other words, live your life for God because He is the Goal of all that is!
So think about your own life… What does your life look like if it is going to be lived with God as the Goal? What do you have to do to make that happen? There may even be areas where you’ve made the shift. Think of the difference it’s made in your life.
So what do we do with all this? We praise God! That’s all we can do. We embrace the reality of the kingdom of God and we decide to live for Christ Jesus the King.
Now let’s do like Paul and end by offering your praise to God in your own words.
*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.