Devotion – Romans 15

S – Romans 15:3 (CSB): For even Christ did not please himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.

O – Romans 15:1–4 (BKC): Also the strong should not seek to please themselves. This last clause is the key; a Christian should not be self-centered, but should be concerned about the spiritual welfare of others. Pleasing others, however, is not the end in itself, but is for their good, to build them up (lit., “unto edification”; cf. “edification” in 14:19). This is the example the Lord Jesus Christ left. Even He did not please Himself. He came “to do the will” of the Father who sent Him (John 4:34) and to please Him (John 5:30; 8:29). To support this statement Paul quoted a part of a verse from a messianic psalm (Ps. 69:9). Christ was insulted by others because of His associations with God the Father.

A – Christ is our example of valuing others.  We want to do it until we have to pay a price for it. (See part of verse – the insults of others have fallen on me.)  Focusing on doing God’s will and purpose each day helps keep the focus on what is good, even when the voices around it are challenging.

R – Lord, help me to do this today without complaints.  Let me value others first and my own aspirations will be accomplished in your timing.

Devotion – Romans 14

S – Romans 14:7–9 (CSB):  8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and returned to life  for this: that he might be Lord over both the dead and the living

O -Commentary:  Romans 14:5–8 (BKC): A believer’s individual accountability to the Lord in every area and experience of life is paramount. Each Christian in both life and death is seen by the Lord, and is accountable to Him, not to other Christians. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

A – When Jesus conquered death, it changed the entire game between God and the Devil.  By having rule and dominion over both realms, it all comes back to God.  What fear do we have if we know that in life and in death, God is in it?  What shame do we have when God forgives it?  In death, if we know it brings us to Him?

R – Lord, let me live courageously to honor you today – You are in it!

Devotions – Romans 13

S –  Romans 13:7–8 (CSB): Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor. 

O – The word obligations jumps out at me.  The Greek word for this talks about “mutual responsibility.”  I know there have been some bad rulers  Yet, Paul spends Bible verses telling us to fulfill our responsibility to pay taxes, dues, respect and honor to others.

A – Easy to do with those I like.  Those I don’t, I find challenging. I must find value in groups and people…even those I struggle with in beliefs or actions.

R – Lord, help me respect all people and groups.  They are part of your purpose for me today.  

Devotion – Romans 12

S – Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God

Romans 12:2 CSB

O – Commentary:  

First, Paul commanded, Do not conform (this Gr. word occurs elsewhere in the NT only in 1 Peter 1:14) any longer to the pattern of this world. Living according to the lifestyle of “the present evil Age” (Gal. 1:4; cf. Eph. 1:21) must now be put aside. Then Paul commanded, But be transformed (“keep on being transformed”) by the renewing of your mind. The Greek verb translated “transformed” (metamorphousthe) is seen in the English word “metamorphosis,” a total change from inside out. The key to this change is the “mind” (noos), the control center of one’s attitudes, thoughts, feelings, and actions (cf. Eph. 4:22–23). As one’s mind keeps on being made new by the spiritual input of God’s Word, prayer, and Christian fellowship, his lifestyle keeps on being transformed.

 “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures

A –  The battlefield is in the mind.  I must reject aligning with the patterns the world offers that take me farther from God.  I need to continue to change from my heart to my thoughts, to my words and to my actions.  

R – Lord, start with me on the inside to continue to change and adhere to your truth and character.

Devotion – Romans 11

S – For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may have mercy on all. 

Romans 11:32 CSB

O – This chapter focuses on the Jewish/ Gentile relationship.  This verse concludes that both are disobedient and mercy is available to everyone.

A – People tend to “segregate” due to any difference they can find with others.  We are all sinners.  We all need salvation and redemption.

R – Lord, thank you for the mercy you give me each day.  May I give it just as generously to others.

Devotion – Romans 10

S – If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation

Romans 10:9–10 CSB

O – Commentary:

Confessing with the mouth that Jesus is Lord is mentioned first to conform to the order of the quotation from Deuteronomy 30:14 in Romans 10:8. The confession is an acknowledgement that God has been incarnated in Jesus, that Jesus Christ is God. Also essential is heart-faith that God raised Him from the dead. The result is salvation. The true order is given in verse 10: For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified (lit., “it is believed unto righteousness”), and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (lit., “it is confessed unto salvation”). Yet these are not two separate steps to salvation. They are chronologically together. Salvation comes through acknowledging to God that Christ is God and believing in Him.

 “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures

A – There is a relationship between what we say and believe.  If they contradict, we are lying to ourselves and living hypocritically.  A genuine believer has the conviction of the heart and words that align with that conviction.

R – Lord, let my thoughts, words and actions line up with You.  

Devotion – Romans 9

S – On the contrary, who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to the one who formed it, “Why did you make me like this

Romans  9:20 CSB

O – Who is a man that he would question God?  All-knowing, all-powerful, unlimited in nature – we wonder why or how He does things.

A – I have done this a lot in my lifetime.  I think there is a healthy element that comes with a relationship.  A good relationship creates open dialogue. Questions bring clarity, not confusion.  I have “argued” with God many times about situations in my life.  I have never “won” an argument. But the journey was worth it and it brought me to a greater understanding and love for God.

R – Lord, I appreciate your grace to share my thoughts and opinions in our relationship.  I am grateful that you invite me to “pour out my heart” to you.  In the end, I put my trust in you for my life.

Devotion – Romans 6

S- For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23 CSB

O – Commentary: The wages (the Gr. word opsōnia originally meant a soldier’s pay) of sin is death (eternal death here, in contrast with “eternal life” in v. 23b). This death is eternal separation from God in hell, in which unbelievers suffer conscious torment forever (Luke 16:24–25). This is the wages they have earned and deserve because of their sin (cf. Rom. 5:12; 7:13). By contrast, the gift (charisma, “grace-gift”) of God is eternal life. Eternal life is a gift that cannot be earned (cf. Eph. 2:8–9; Titus 3:5).

 “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures,

A – This principle is foundational to Christian belief.  Wages are earned – we earn our death when we choose sin and continue to separate us from God.  A gift is given and received – we choose to receive the gift given by Christ on the cross.  In receiving this gift, Jesus is esteemed our Savior and Lord.  We receive the promises of today but the greatest gift is eternal life with Him.

R – Lord, thank you for the gift of salvation and redemption.  Help me to walk in a way that illustrates my love for you and my fight against sin in my life.

Devotion – Romans 5

S – And not only that, but we also boast in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:3–5 CSB

O –  Commentary:  

Suffering brings about perseverance (hypomonēn, “steadfastness,” the ability to remain under difficulties without giving in; cf. Rom. 15:5–6; James 1:3–4). Only a believer who has faced distress can develop steadfastness. That in turn develops character (dokimēn [“proof”] has here the idea of “proven character”), which in turn results in hope. As believers suffer, they develop steadfastness; that quality deepens their character; and a deepened, tested character results in hope (i.e., confidence) that God will see them through.

5:5. A believer’s hope, since it is centered in God and His promises, does not disappoint him. “Disappoint” means “put to shame because of disappointment” in unfulfilled promises. 

 “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures

A – Love the progression in the commentary:  Suffer – developing steadfastness- deeper, tested character – hope, confidence and trust in God.  A difficult but rich journey.  I have seen this many times in my walk with God.  Each step is necessary and effective in its purpose.  It is perpetual in my relationship with God.

R – Lord, help me to embrace the journey of walking with you in the good and challenging times.  Let me grow closer to your character and purpose for me today.

Devotion – Romans 4

S – This is why the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace, to guarantee it to all the descendants—not only to the one who is of the law but also to the one who is of Abraham’s faith. He is the father of us all.

Romans 4:16 CSB

O – Commentary:

Paul then drew his conclusion. Therefore (lit., “On account of this”) the promise comes by (ek, “out of”) faith so that it may be by (kata, “according to the standard of”) grace. Responding in faith to God’s promise is not meritorious, since the promise springs from His grace, His disposition of favor toward those who deserve His wrath. The human exercise of faith is simply the prerequisite response of trust in God and His promise. Since faith and grace go together, and since the promise is by grace, the promise can be received only by faith, not by the Law.

Another reason the promise is by faith is so that it may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring, not only the Jews (those … of the Law) but to all who exercise faith in God. If the promise were fulfilled for those who keep the Law, then no Gentiles (or Jews either) could be saved! But this cannot be, because Abraham … is the father of us all, that is, all who believe.

“Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures

A – Faith is foundational and essential for one to accept the promise of salvation through Christ.  We are all sinners.  In trusting through faith that Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are extending faith.

R – Lord, I wholly put my faith in you.  You are my Lord and Savior today.  Let my thoughts, words, and actions align with your Word, Character and purposes for my life.