PREPARE TO LISTEN
Light a candle and pray: The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
Request for Presence: Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
READ Romans 1:1-7
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul knows how to pack good theology into a few verses! However, I was struck with just one phrase: “the obedience of faith.” Too often I’ve found myself in churches where faith is viewed as content to be believed. I was taught the content, the right stuff to believe in order to be a good Christian. I found it very burdensome. Fortunately, I’ve also been in churches that emphasized “the obedience of faith.” Faith is not merely content we must believe and no more. Faith is also about obedience, that is, a life lived daily in response to God’s will. Our ‘faith ‘content’ might not be 100 percent correct. And that’s okay. The real issue is our ‘walk’. The question to ask ourselves is: Am I practicing obedience that demonstrates my faith?
Jesus is God in the flesh. Believing this great faith truth is the beginning, but just a beginning. It will only grow deeper as we seek to live more obediently to God in Christ. Ponder how you can practice a more consistent obedience today (the key word is practice).
RESPOND TO JESUS IN PRAYER.
Lord, I often fail in my faith because I focus on the wrong thing—believing the right stuff, and nothing more. Help me practice obedience and practice again and again, until I get better and better at “the obedience of faith” for the sake of your name and in gratitude for your sacrifice for my sin. Amen.
BE SILENT AND STILL (for as long as you want). Simply be in the presence of Jesus, who loves you, regardless.