Romans (Today's New International Version unless otherwise noted)
1What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.
Lord, in this family, You have entrusted me with Your Word. I hope some day someone else will read and love Your Word, but for now, it is only me. Help me to be a good servant and a good liver of Your Word.
3What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? 4Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written:
“So that you may be proved right when you speak
and prevail when you judge.”a
5But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? 7Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8Why not say—as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is deserved.
Jesus, Your example of the twisted think of man reminds me how good I can be at rationalizing my sins. It would be easy to think these Words are for others, but they are for me. I hang on to certain of my sins and have excuses and reasons, all of which are terrible. Holy Spirit, convict me of every sin I commit. Make my heart sorrowful for each one and help me to hate them, and not love them. Strip away my excuses and my twisted thinking. Let me see me and You see me, and change.
No One Is Righteous
9What shall we conclude then? Are we any betterb? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”c
13“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”d
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”e
14“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”f
15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16ruin and misery mark their ways,
17and the way of peace they do not know.”g
18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”h
Jesus, I know that is exactly what my life is when I am not walking with You. That describes me when I forget that You are right there with me. I can fall so fast. But, Lord, You have changed me. In Your love and mercy, for no reason I know of, You changed me. I am not yet perfect, but You make me so different. And it is all You.
Lord, keep changing me. I have so far to go. Change me so I can give You glory all my days, and every minute of every day, forever.
19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
Lord, show me my sins. Holy Spirit, convict me and change me. It is time in my life to root these sins out. It is time for me to live wholeheartedly for You. It is time for me to be "single-hearted". Help me Father, for I am weak. Change me.
Righteousness Through Faith
21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,i through faith in his blood.
There is all of salvation and Christianity in 5 verses! I have sinned and fallen so short Jesus. Yet for some reason You came and died for me, so You paid the price for my sins. And, again for some reason I can't understand, You chose to give me faith in You and save me. Why? You have done it all, and I have done nothing. You love me so much Lord, and still I ask why?
Lord, choose my family too. Choose them Lord, as Your chose me. You can choose whomever You want, and in Your wisdom, You never error. I don't know or understand Your ways. I can only trust them. Your will be done Lord, forever and ever.
He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. 28For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. 29Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. 31Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Thank-you so much Lord that we are made pure by faith and not judged by our sins, for I would be so hopeless. Even this faith I have came from You for no reason at all. You could have left me to drown in my sins and my despair, but You saved me and gave me hope. And YOU ARE ALIVE!
a 4 Psalm 51:4
b 9 Or worse
c 12 Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20
d 13 Psalm 5:9
e 13 Psalm 140:3
f 14 Psalm 10:7
g 17 Isaiah 59:7,8
h 18 Psalm 36:1
i 25 Or as the one who would turn aside his wrath, taking away sin