Day 2 – Romans 1:9-17 – August 21, 2018
“God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the Gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – that is that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the Gospel also to you who are at Rome. I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.'” (Romans 1:9-17)
Paul’s spiritual gift was preaching the good news about Jesus. It was his passion. My passion is writing about it. My husband’s passion is being a prosecutor. I love when he practices his closing arguments with me. They’re clever. God gives him the perfect words. My daughter, Rebecca, has a passion for taking care of God’s creation. She’s a wildlife biologist. What is your passion? What talent do you have? You may not know yet or you may have an inkling but don’t think you’re good enough. God will help you develop your talents, his gifts to you. He will give you His power and the courage to get the education you may need. With God’s help, you can do it! My daughter, Jen, showed me that my writing has room for improvement. She helps me with it, and I constantly read articles on the internet. Don’t think you’re too old! My dad drove an ambulance after he retired. My mom was making quilts for the needy and taking hot tea and homemade cookies to those who needed prayer and a loving ear when she was 91. We can encourage people at any age no matter what disability we have.
Many of us feel the stress of living life, feel guilt from past mistakes we’ve made, are slaves to alcoholism, drugs, food, buying frenzies, gambling, anger, or other bad habits. If you can’t feel God’s peace, pray for God’s help. Pray for God to help you find a church with a minister or a Christian counselor that can help you. We went to a church that provided Christian counseling with a psychologist as one of the church’s ministries. I can’t think of a better ministry for a church to have. I’m praying for you, for everyone who visits my website, for God’s peace, grace, and righteousness to come to you as Paul prayed for the Romans. I hope through this study that you discover your spiritual gifts that will benefit you and others and will make you and others stronger and happier. (See tomorrow’s devotion.) I pray you will become righteous in the presence of God and live by faith by praying the prayer in yesterday’s devotion. You will develop faith as God helps you over and over again. If you have a story of how God has helped you, please encourage us. Tell us your story in comments or the Blog. Thank you!
Want to take it to the next level?
Paul was Jewish, so he tells us that Jesus was a descendant of King David, a Jew, and that Jesus being crucified was promised in the Old Testament. He also tells us that the Spirit of Holiness (Holy Spirit) gave Jesus power to perform miracles and be resurrected so that Jesus would be known on Earth to be God’s son. Most Romans were not known for their humbleness or morals but their love of wealth. If the Romans could be excited about Jesus so could Los Angeles, New York City, or your city if we could only spread God’s love there as Paul did in Rome. God wants us to leave our safe space and go on life-changing missions of adventure. We are His mouth to tell about him, His hands to serve others, and His feet to go where He needs us. The Gospel reveals God’s grace to make us righteous by our faith in Him, to make us part of His family, and to reveal His power that gives us salvation, life, and joy in the frustration of living life. Unless we get in touch with God (pray) and use our spiritual gifts and His power, our lives and other lives won’t change. Like many, I was brought up not to talk about Jesus in fear of upsetting someone. Talking is not my gift, so with enthusiasm, I write about the Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). How could I not write about He who has made me strong in my weakness, given me comfort and joy in my sadness, listened to my feelings when no one else would, answered my prayers, and gave me a refuge when I had nowhere else to turn.