Prepare to listen. Quietly pause and prepare to receive the Word, believing God’s words, When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them. (Psalm 91:15)
Read Romans 10:8-13
8But what does it say ‘The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11The scripture says, ‘No one who believes in him will be put to shame.’ 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
‘On your lips and in your heart.’ This is a quote from Moses (Deuteronomy 30:14). Paul picks up on two words—lips (mouth) and heart, referring to them twice (v9 and v10). The lips give an outward expression of faith while the heart gives the inward expression. Both are essential and necessary. Believing in the heart and confessing with the lips aren’t two entirely different things—do one and this will happen; do the other and that will happen. They belong together, both essentially saying the same thing. Paul brings together the outer with the inner life. Humans are holistic beings with inner and outer lives. Christ saves us holistically, not piecemeal.
Believing and confessing Jesus is open to all. Therefore, all who call on him, who believe in him will be saved. Race (Jew or Gentile; immigrant or native, black or white) no longer matters. ‘The same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.’ It makes us think about how we receive people.
If the Lord makes no distinction between people, why do you think we so often do? What do you think you could do today to reflect Christ’s generosity and inclusivity of all peoples?
Respond to Jesus in prayer
You are a generous God, O Lord, and I want to live in a way that mirrors that generosity to all people today, regardless of race, creed, skin color, gender. Make me a bit more like Jesus today. Amen.
Go and live obediently in the world, mirroring God’s generosity to all.
Reading the Bible has always been essential to followers of Jesus. I've been reading, studying, teaching and writing reflections on biblical texts for as long as I can remember. I invite you to read the Bible with me during the Lent and into Easter Sunday.