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.
“7 For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8 If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that He might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.”
Sometimes I think we lose sight of where we’re going and what we’re doing in our day to day lives. Our tendency is to get up and go through the motions without giving much thought to the day. Every day we get up and go to work, school, take care of the kids, wash the dishes, clean the house, pay the bills. It’s easy to think of ourselves as an island—to isolate ourselves—as we let the days become routine. It’s a struggle that, if we’re honest, we all have. So how do we keep from falling into its trap?
Paul offers us some insight. We can never forget that the lordship of Jesus Christ enters into every aspect of our lives. The fact is that we don’t live to ourselves but to the Lord; we don’t die to ourselves, but to the Lord. We belong to the Lord! In everything we do, we are always under His rule. That’s a sobering thought for me. Think about it for a minute… Everything that I do has meaning and purpose, because no matter if I live or die, I belong to the Lord. It is the Lord that should be the goal and object of our lives.
We can never forget that the reason for which Christ died, rose and lived again is that He might be our Lord and that we might be His willing subjects, gladly rendering to Him the devotion of our grateful hearts. His lordship continues even in death, when our bodies lie in the grave and our spirits and souls are in His presence.
This principle that Paul gives us can help us see the big picture when it comes to dealing with disputable matters. Somehow, it seems to put everything into perspective. We don’t need to let disagreements on secondary issues separate us from one another. Lets “major on the majors” as we live our lives for the Lord. Let’s learn to love those around us that may have a different opinion about a disputable matter. Remembering always that “whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
So with all of this in mind, imagine saying with another believer, “Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord (v. 8).” How would this assurance affect the way you would handle disagreements with that person? (Consider information in verses 7-11.)
*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, for leading (God’s Word For You – Romans Series Book 2, Keller, Timothy.