Paul warns, “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
As it is in our power, we are instructed to do good to those who are evil toward us. We are to give to those who steal from us. We are to love those who hate us. We are to bless those who curse us. Etc.
It’s difficult, I know. Our human nature wants to get revenge, but vengeance belongs to God alone. As we deal out good for evil, we prepare the challenging situation for God’s intervention. (He’s not willing that any perish)
DAILY PRAYER: God, give me great grace to adjust my attitude when I am tempted to return evil for evil. I repent.
DAILY READING: Romans 12-14
Often a concept difficult to understand is how God predetermines or foreordains the destiny of His children. Yet, it is clearly laid out in Romans 9.
Pharaoh, whose heart was hardened and who mandated suffering upon God’s people, was designed to show God’s power … hence the plagues upon Egypt which stimulated the exodus.
Paul says, “It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”
The reason to deepen our relationship with God becomes paramount. Through our trust and obedience, we find the strength to be all He designed us to be.
DAILY PRAYER: Lord, we trust Your plan for our lives. We don’t want to miss out on accomplishing the purpose for which You created us.
DAILY READING: Romans 9-11
In authoring the book of Romans, Paul develops the clearest picture of the process and conditions of the redeemed nature of the New Testament believer. He addresses the age old struggle of man against sin and challenges the believer to see himself as a slave who freely offers himself to the master of his choosing. Yes, we were purchased and redeemed by the sacrifice and blood of Christ, but we are instructed to thereby offer ourselves to be slaves to righteousness, doing only the things that please God.
God did His part. Now, we do ours.
God’s grace assists and fuels the act of our will. His Spirit is powerfully at work in us. [Phil. 2:13]
DAILY PRAYER: Lord, apart from You, we can do nothing. In You, we can do all things. Today, let Your mighty Holy Spirit work through us to do great things for You.
DAILY READING: Romans 5-8
God told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. You and I are descendants of Abraham if we have the same faith in God that he displayed.
His faith was exemplary. Scripture says that when he was told Sarah would have a son, he DID NOT WAVER. She did but he didn’t. This is a big key to spiritual blessing and conquest.
James further develops this foundational concept when he says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally … and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, not wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” [James 1:5-7]
We are not like waves of the sea. We have built our house upon the ROCK, Christ Jesus. He doesn’t move about.
DAILY PRAYER: Lord, the faith You give by Your grace is what steadies us in this life as we wait for Your return. We, by Your grace, will be immovable in our devotion and commitment to You.
DAILY READING: Romans 1-4 (This is some of the most exciting and solid reading the Bible has to offer. You may want to shout as faith fills your soul.)
Paul’s voyage to be tried in Rome was eventful. His ship encountered a violent storm which thrust them into the island of Malta. All had feared for their lives, but an angel from the Lord appeared to Paul in the night and declared all would be safe. No doubt, Paul’s presence on the ship made the difference between life and death.
The Psalmist predicted, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” We can navigate the challenges of life with this confidence … God will protect us.
DAILY PRAYER: Lord, we are grateful for Your protection. We find our refuge in You. In You, we live and move and have our being.
DAILY READING: Acts 27,28
Paul experiences a series of trial appearances after being falsely accused by the Jewish leaders who were upset merely because he was a witness for Christ Jesus. Fearing being sent back to Jerusalem to fall under the influence of his religious opposition, he appealed to be heard in the imperial court of Caesar, his right as a Roman citizen.
God’s apparent plan was for Paul to make these appearances to broaden his witness and model suffering for Christ’s sake. Although he eventually lost his life through beheading and spent considerable time in prison, his witness deepened through his writings and influence over early Christians.
DAILY PRAYER: Lord, we trust that whatever sufferings we experience for Your name’s sake, they will be for Your glory and the furtherance of Your Kingdom. Give us grace to live in victory for You.
DAILY READING: Acts 24-26
Paul appears before the Sanhedrin to explain his message. Even in legal pressure, he boldly maintains his strong Christian witness.
When legal pressures come, we too can resolve to abandon self preservation and trust our Great Shepherd.
DAILY PRAYER: Lord, in every opportunity we have to witness for You, give us boldness and the right words to say.
DAILY READING: Acts 21-23