Daily Devotional

Living Illustration

Living Illustration

What if some did not live by faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? (Rom. 3:3) If you would like a living illustration of this passage, look no further than to those who deny God, or at the very least, who scoff at Him and His commandments. People...
First Glance

First Glance

What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew? (Rom. 3:1) AT FIRST GLANCE, PAUL’S WORDS to the Roman church seem a bit awkward and hard to understand. However, if you consider this passage in light of what is written at the end of Romans 2, you will see that it makes...
Caught Rather Than Taught

Caught Rather Than Taught

Do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come. (Ps. 71:18) WHENEVER I CAME DOWNSTAIRS FOR BREAKFAST, there would be my dad, before heading off for a day of work at the factory, sitting at the kitchen...
Pracitical Rewards

Pracitical Rewards

There will be . . . glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good. (Rom. 2:9–10) GOD’S JUDGMENTS are not all reserved for the day of judgment. God’s commandments are like natural laws. There are immediate consequences—good or bad—from respecting or disrespecting...
Price vs. Prize

Price vs. Prize

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. (Rom. 2:7) THE WORD JUDGE ELICITS negative feelings. Our first thought is usually of a price to be paid for a misdeed. But another kind of judging awards a prize...
God Does Not Give Out Punishments

God Does Not Give Out Punishments

Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath. (Rom. 2:5) WHILE TEACHING WRITING at a Christian university, I had to give a student an “F” as his mid-term grade because he had not...
I’m Glad I’m Not God

I’m Glad I’m Not God

[D]o you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? (Rom. 2:4) SOME DAYS I WOULD LIKE TO BE GOD. I’d heal all those diagnosed with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. I would rescue...
Truth and Justice

Truth and Justice

Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. (Rom. 2:2) WHEN A WITNESS IS SWORN IN to testify at a trial, the bailiff always asks, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” And...
You Do the Same Thing

You Do the Same Thing

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself. (Rom. 2:1) THE YOUTH CAMP SPEAKER DELIVERED FIERY JUDGMENT against students who were viewing “perversion” on their smart phones...
Reality Check

Reality Check

Since the beginning of the world God’s invisible qualities . . . have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made. (Rom. 1:20) JACKSON BROWNE’S SONG “THE PRETENDER” depicts someone who gave up on pursuing his highest dreams and now struggles just to...
No Parties in Hell

No Parties in Hell

They not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Rom. 1:32) A COMMON CRY FROM REVELERS in the streets goes something like this: “I’d rather be in hell partying with my friends than in heaven with a bunch of hypocrites!”...
Putting Creativity to Good Use

Putting Creativity to Good Use

They invent ways of doing evil. (Rom. 1:30) CREATIVITY IS A SOUGHT-AFTER PERSONAL GIFT. It allows people to accomplish difficult projects by seeing solutions that others have not considered. But such imagination can also be used to circumvent rules and figure out...
Beyond Fandom

Beyond Fandom

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. (Rom. 1:25) SITTING ALONGSIDE A FELLOW SCREAMING Buffalo Bills fans while being pelted by sleet in near zero weather is a good way to...
Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge and Wisdom

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. (Rom. 1:22)  MY OFFICE IN THE RELIGION DEPARTMENT at Houghton College is on the top floor of the library building. Visitors to our floor often try to discern theological meaning in that architecture. Are the...
On Being Wrong

On Being Wrong

What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Rom. 1:19) “YES, I KNEW IT WAS WRONG.” Our judicial system is based, in part, upon evoking that profession from a defendant. Yet some excuse their actions by protesting, “I was...
Finding Hope

Finding Hope

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. (Ps. 70:4) BEING A CHRISTIAN DOESN’T MEAN you always have to smile and be happy. Sometimes it is appropriate to mourn, to be angry, or to be sad. After all, Jesus overturned counting tables at the temple, wept with...
Connected

Connected

The righteous will live by faith. (Rom. 1:17) IN THE OPENING SENTENCES of his letter to the Romans, Paul gave us a wonderful example of how to live out our calling. We must realize that we are commissioned through God’s grace, not because of our own efforts,...
A Balancing Act

A Balancing Act

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. (Rom. 1:14) IT IS EASY TO HOLE OURSELVES up in Christian communities and encourage only each other. Human nature leads us to gather with those who are like us ethnically, geographically,...
Prayer from Afar

Prayer from Afar

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you. . . . I remember you in my prayers at all times. (Rom. 1:8–10) THIS TIME OF YEAR, parents and grandparents are sending their kids off to school. Letting go is a tough thing. Not having them under our consent...
Two Requirements

Two Requirements

Through him and for his name’s sake we received grace and apostleship to call people from among the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. (Rom. 1:5) NOTICE THE PREREQUISITES for being an apostle of Christ. It is not wisdom, nor is it a theological degree....
Limited Vision

Limited Vision

The gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in Holy Scripture. (Rom. 1:2) THEY SAY HINDSIGHT IS 20–20. In my life, I have known this to be true, haven’t you? Things become more clear when viewed in the rearview mirror after we have passed through an event....
A Servant to Our Lord

A Servant to Our Lord

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God. (Rom. 1:1) AT FIRST GLANCE, it might appear to us in the 21st century that Paul was bragging. But look again. The first thing he stated was that he was a servant of Christ...
Being Set Free

Being Set Free

Rescue me from the mire. (Ps. 69:14) SPEAKING TO YOUNG GIRLS in the red light district of Phnom Penh, Dani started out using an illustration that she knew they would identify with. She shared that during the rainy season the Mekong River in Cambodia develops deep...
Releasing Obstacles

Releasing Obstacles

He got rid of the foreign gods. (2 Chron. 33:15) I was sitting in a revival service being held in the small church structure in Mount Frere, South Africa. One could almost imagine the walls exploding outwards due to the large number of individuals who were squeezing...