Romans Devotional

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Day 1 - Living Like a Saint

Reading: Romans 1:1-15

Reflective Thoughts

Living like a saint

Paul opens His letter to the believers in Rome by introducing himself as one who is "set apart" for the gospel. He calls the believers two things: "beloved of God in Rome and called to be saints" (v7).

Biblical history makes it easy to see the Apostle Paul as "set apart" or special for the gospel. His life was used by God throughout the entire Roman Empire.

But what did He mean when he said the Roman Christians were "called to be saints"? Does this apply to us? 

Have you ever thought of yourself as a saint? It's not a term we use often.

If you're reading from the NIV, you know that "saint" means holy, and holy means set apart. So these people were 1) loved by God and 2) holy. These two characteristics go together because it is God's love that makes us holy.

There's nothing you have to do to be set apart or holy. If you believe in Jesus, you already are because He made you that way. 

A bird doesn't contemplate why it should fly--it does. Sometimes it needs a nudge or two. But when it leaps and flaps the wings it was given, it rises. You will too! 

Your wings are described in 1 John 14:9: "we love because He first loved us."

You fly when you love the unlovely co-worker. You fly when you forgive the person who doesn't deserve forgiveness. You soar when you clean up someone else's mess without complaint or allow someone else to choose, even when it's supposed to be your turn. 

Your wings are knowing that He loved you first--and you're already holy and set apart.  When you live that way, you prove the gospel in your own life. 

Posted by Nan Maurer with

Day 58 - Chili

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Reading: Romans 16:21-24

Reflective Thoughts

Chili

I don't know about you, but I still look at chili with suspicion. A story about a severed finger found in Wendy's chili in 2005 did me in. The plot turned out to be a hoax-one woman hoped to cash in on a lawsuit. Instead she landed in jail. Meanwhile, Wendy's will never be the same to me--there is something horrible about severed body parts.

Each of us who believe in Christ is a member of the Body of Christ. Like the ears or eyes or even the gall bladder, we depend on each other to properly function. Together we minister the way God intended. Together we are beautiful. But severed from one another...we're at best ineffective and at worst, a horrible hoax.

The Apostle Paul was surrounded by others on whom he depended and with whom he partnered for the sake of the gospel. One of the greatest joys you can know is fulfilling your purpose in partnership with others. You don't have to look very hard for where you will fit in. Just look for the next person you can serve.

 

 

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