Romans: The Grace of God

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May 20: The Grace of God

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Imagine what life would be like without the grace of God. It would be devastating. 

While Romans 11 has some complexity to it, the theme of the grace of God in verse 6 is quite clear – God’s grace is free and undeserved. 

Paul writes about the endless grace of God elsewhere: 

  • The grace of God is the totality by which men and women are made righteous (see Romans 3:24; Titus 3:7).
  • Grace is a state or condition in which we stand (see Romans 5:2).
  • Grace extends to more and more people (see 2 Cor 4:15). 
  • To hold to the law is to nullify grace (see Galatians 2:21)
  • The Christian is not under the law but under grace (see Romans 6:14.) 
  • Grace is opposed to what is owed (see Romans 4:4). 
  • The gospel itself, which is the good news of grace, can be called grace (see Acts 20:24) or the word of His grace (see Acts 14:3; 20:32).

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 11:1-10

With the help of a good Study Bible, write out your own definition of Grace. Also, write out three verses about the grace of God that stand out most to you. 

Who is somebody you can share one (or all) of these verses with today, or sometime in the near future? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I’m grateful for the reminder that Your grace is endless, and that the gospel message is ultimately a gospel of grace. Today, I simply want to thank You and praise You for your grace, and I ask for confidence to share passages about Your grace with others. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: John 14 & 15

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: Believe in Christ

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May 19: Believe in Christ

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

In the Book of Romans, Chapters 9-11 seem to break from the flow of the rest of the letter. While scholars may debate the specific purpose of some portions from these chapters, others are quite clear. 

One of the most clear passages is in Romans 10:9-11 which reads, If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

The NLT Study Bible notes that the Greek word for heart in Romans 10:9 is kardia. The heart is “… the inner person. It is closely related to soul, mind, and spirit. In some contexts there is an emphasis on thinking and understanding; in others the emphasis is on feeling and desiring; in still others the focus is on making choices.”

Believing in Christ, therefore, impacts our thinking and understanding, our feelings, desires, and our choices. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 10:1-21

How would you explain to somebody what it means to believe in Christ, and the holistic impact that decision would make in their life? 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I recognize that the heart of my belief in Christ is all encompassing, and I pray that You would continue to break my heart for what breaks Yours, to love myself in the same way You love me, and to love others as You love them. May others know that I believe in Christ by my love for them. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: John 13

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: Sacrificing for Others

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May 18: Sacrificing for Others

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Think for just a moment about those you know who have not made a personal commitment to Christ. How much would you be willing to sacrifice for them in order for them to experience salvation? Now, think about the countless others you may not know who have never made a personal commitment to Christ. How much would you be willing to sacrifice for them? 

In Romans 9:2-3, Paul makes a startling statement. He writes, My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.

Surely, there would be other Jewish descendants Paul knew and loved deeply. But there would also be countless others he didn’t know. Yet Paul still says he would be willing to be forever cursed – cut off from Christ – if that would save them. 

The Life Application Study Bible notes, “How concerned are you for those who don’t know Christ? Are you willing to sacrifice your time, money, energy, comfort, and safety to see them come to faith in Jesus?” 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 9:1-33

How concerned are you for those who don’t know Christ? Are you willing to sacrifice your time, money, energy, comfort, and safety to see them come to faith in Jesus?

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I know I would be willing to give something of myself for the salvation of others, but I don’t know if I would be like Paul – willing to be forever cursed – for the salvation of others. Help me to grow in my ability to think of myself less and to think of the eternal salvation of others more. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: John 11 & Matthew 21:1-13

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: May 15 – Write it Out

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May 15: Write it Out

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

READING & JOURNALING:

Take the opportunity to look up and write out two or three other passages that align with Romans 8:38-39. You may find it helpful to utilize the cross-references in your study bible. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Mark 10

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: Nothing Stands Between Us but Love

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May 14: Nothing Stands Between Us but Love

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Romans 8 ends with two verses (38-39) which are well worth memorizing: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It’s certainly one thing to read these words from the Apostle Paul and breathe them in to soothe your anxious soul. Music artist John Mark McMillan, however, writes this verse as if God Himself is singing it over you. Imagine for moment that God Himself is singing, and you’re simply listening to His voice:

Nothing stands between us

Nothing stands between us, but love now

Nothing stands between us

Nothing stands between us but love

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 8:35-39

In what ways is God inviting you to rest in the promises of Romans 8:35-39 today?

Consider taking the opportunity to write out this passage and memorize it over the next week. 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, this passage is the ultimate reminder that absolutely nothing stands between You and me, except for the love you continually offer. Today, may I give up any self-centered desire to earn Your love, but instead rest in the truth that You offer it to me freely. May I rest in Your loving presence each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Luke 17:11-37 & Luke 18

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: God Works in All Things for Good

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May 13: God Works in All Things for Good

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

It’s one thing to experience the occasional trial, such as traffic jams, your car breaking down, or having the flu. It’s another to experience something much more sorrowful. In these moments it’s easy to wonder, Can anything good come from this?

The biblical answer, as difficult as it may be to accept, is that God works in all things for our good.

The NLT Life Application Study Bible notes on Romans 8:28, “God works in ‘everything’—not just isolated incidents—for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy but to fulfill his purpose.”

As you read today, consider this: What is one extremely difficult situation you’ve experienced? In what way(s) did you eventually discover that God worked through this situation for good? 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 8:26-34

What is one extremely difficult situation you’ve experienced? In what way(s) did you eventually discover that God worked through this situation for good?

How may God be inviting you to share your experience with others who are currently experiencing a significant life challenge? 

 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I realize there’s a different between simple trials of life and severe difficulties that will forever change me. Nevertheless, I believe that deep down You have worked and will continue to work for good in every situation I experience. May I rest in this truth today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Luke 15 & 16

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: The Holy Spirit Prays for Us

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May 12: The Holy Spirit Prays for Us

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Have you ever been in a situation in which you just didn’t know what to pray? You may have had some close friends or family asking if there’s anything they can do for you, or any specific prayer requests you may have, but you were experiencing such sorrow or confusion that you didn’t even know what to ask for. 

Fortunately, we have a God who helps us. Romans 8:26-27 reads, …we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

The Life Application Study Bible offers some wonderful encouragement on this passage. It reads, “With God helping you pray, you don’t need to be afraid to come before him. Ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for you ‘in harmony with God’s own will.’ Then, when you bring your requests to God, trust that he will always do what is best.”

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 8:26-30

What is at least one situation in your life right now in which you’re really not sure what to pray for? 

 

PRAYER:

Today, write out your own prayer to God. Come to Him without any fear, but in confidence knowing that the Holy Spirit will also be offering prayer for you. And His prayers are in harmony with God’s own will.

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Matthew 19:16-30

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: Our Future Glory

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May 11: Our Future Glory

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

We live in a world in which we will do almost anything to escape from suffering. Pastor and author Peter Scazzero writes in Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, “In our culture, addiction has become the most common way to deal with pain. We watch television incessantly. We keep busy, running from one activity to another. We work seventy hours a week, indulge in pornography, overeat, drink, take pills — anything to avoid the pain…Sadly, the result of denying and minimizing our wounds over many years is that we become less and less human, empty Christian shells with painted smily faces.”

Similarly, Jesus says in John 16:33, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” There’s just no getting around it. Each of us will experience trials and sorrow. However, Jesus continues by saying, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

The apostle Paul echoes Jesus’ statement, writing in Romans 8:18, Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 8:18-25, 2 CORINTHIANS 4:17

What are at least three things we can look forward to in our future glory? (Read today’s passages carefully, and consider utilizing the cross-references in your study bible to discover other helpful passages.) 

 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, I know there is much to look forward to when it comes to my future glory. However, I confess that I am prone to sometimes escape or or numb the realities of this world. Continue to help me be fully present with the realities of this life, knowing that You have overcome them all. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: John 6

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: May 8 – Write it Out

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May 8: Write it Out

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

READING & JOURNALING:

How regularly do you think about the fact that you are a child of God? How do you think your relationship with God would change if you more fully understood what it means to be His child and His heir? Be specific. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: Luke 14

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.

 

 

Romans: Strangers and Aliens

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May 7: Strangers and Aliens

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Romans 8:12-17 provides us with several important reminders, one of which is to focus on the truth that we are children of God, and because we are His children, we are His heirs. This truth is something that ought to provide tremendous hope, knowing that whatever we may experience in this life is temporary. 

We see this truth communicated elsewhere in the New Testament as well. For example, 1 Peter 2:11 says that we are “strangers and aliens” in this world. It’s a reminder that our real home is with God in heaven, not here. Similarly, Colossians 3:3 notes that our “real life” is hidden with Christ in God. 

Difficulties will come our way, there’s no getting around that. But when difficulties do come our way, they provide us with an opportunity to remember that life’s challenges do not define us, they refine us. And the more we are refined, the better we’re able to see that our real life is not here but is in the arms of a loving Father. 

READING & JOURNALING:

     ROMANS 8:12-17

In what ways is God inviting you to more fully discover your “real life” or your true self? 

 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father, today I’m grateful for the reminder that the challenges I experience in this life do not define me, but they do refine me. Continue to refine all of the impurities out of me so that I continue to grow into the person You have made me to be. And help me to remember that this life is temporary, and that my real life is with You. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

 

F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)

The F260 is a Scripture Reading Plan designed to read through the foundational passages of the Bible through a year (September 2019 – August 2020). It is a separate reading from the daily devotional but is included for those who would like to engage with the Scriptures on a deeper level throughout the year.

Read: John 3 & 4

 

 

Note: Are you looking for a Study Bible to help you engage with the Scriptures at a deeper level? If so, click here for some recommendations.