Romans 3

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Devotional

As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one. Their throat is an open tomb; with their tongues they have practiced deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips”; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

– Romans 3:10-18

I was one of those “church kids.” I grew up going to church. Some of my earliest memories are church pre-school and churchy kid’s songs. In fact, I still remember the words three decades later. The problem with being a church kid is that you don’t realize that passages like this apply to you. You know them, but they apply to other “unrighteous” people. But the scary reality is, the Gospel’s power is inhibited in your life until you rightly recognize your deep personal need for God’s forgiving grace, too.

“None,” “not one,” “all.” That’s me too. I’m so grateful for God’s grace in allowing me to stray so that I could comprehend my need for His gracious forgiveness.

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

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Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Romans 2

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Devotional

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

– Romans 2:4

I can remember arguing with them. Whether it was the Latter Day Saint or Jehovah’s Witness at my door, or a friend at football practice after school. I had the apologetic answers. I’d read the defending the faith books and knew which verses to toss at which arguments. Funny thing; those pat answers only seemed to fuel the argument. Lots of fuel. Very little fruit.

I don’t know when the change happened. But there was a distinctive change in the way I would share. Someone would lob softball of an argument or empty question my way… one I had reasoned through several times before. But instead of slamming a line-drive back at them, I’d redirect the conversation back to God’s goodness and patience with me. It’s not that there isn’t a good answer for the difficult questions. In fact, if there aren’t coherent answers in Christianity, then Christianity is worthless. But so many difficult questions are (in the moment) a diversion. A distraction from the core issue.

“Nicodemus, most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

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Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Romans 1

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Devotional

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

– Romans 1:16

When I fully grasp that the gospel is the very power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, then and only then do I lose the shame of that which my flesh sees as a foolish stumbling-block. That’s right; the message of the gospel is both the power of God unto salvation, and an offensive, foolish stumbling-block. My flesh is ashamed at times by the simplicity of the Gospel. It actually happens fairly often; I’m talking with someone about the troubles that their facing, and the Spirit of God is prompting me to share the potent good news, and my flesh shouts, “They need something more TANGIBLE!”

Though I am a pastor, I wrestle with the same shame in my flesh that you do. So I have to remind myself, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.”

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

Download the YouVersion Bible App

Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Acts 28

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Devotional

Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

– Acts 28:30-31

It’s the classic non-ending, ending. It ends like a movie expecting a sequel. Though (sadly) Paul’s life and ministry ended within a few years of the close of Acts 28, by tragic means, the story of Acts continues to this day. For two thousand years the story of the church has continued through millions upon millions of Paul’s, Timothy’s, Barnabas’s and Peter’s. It continues today through my life and yours. The Acts of God through His church will continue until the angelic promise of Acts 1:11 is fulfilled.

How will your life add verses to Acts today?

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

Download the YouVersion Bible App

Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Acts 27

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Devotional

Now when much time had been spent, and sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over, Paul advised them, saying, “Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives.”

– Acts 27:9-10

But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss.

– Acts 27:21

Here we have the classic apostolic “I told you so!

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

Download the YouVersion Bible App

Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Acts 26

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Devotional

Now as he thus made his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!”

– Acts 26:24

“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing.” It certainly was to unrepentant Festus.

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

Download the YouVersion Bible App

Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Acts 25

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Devotional

“For if I am an offender, or have committed anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying; but if there is nothing in these things of which these men accuse me, no one can deliver me to them. I appeal to Caesar.”

– Acts 25:11

With full faith and a clear conscience Paul could say, “if I have done anything deserving of death, I do not object to dying.” What a powerful and astonishing statement.

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

Download the YouVersion Bible App

Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Acts 24

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Devotional

“Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me.

– Acts 24:13

In his letter to the Romans Paul exhorted the believers in Rome that they “be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” Paul not only wrote such exhortations but lived also as an example. May it be that we be un-accusable in our lives.

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

Download the YouVersion Bible App

Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Acts 23

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Devotional

But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”
And when he had said this, a dissension arose between the Pharisees and the Sadducees; and the assembly was divided. For Sadducees say that there is no resurrection—and no angel or spirit; but the Pharisees confess both. Then there arose a loud outcry. And the scribes of the Pharisees’ party arose and protested, saying, “We find no evil in this man; but if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, let us not fight against God.”

– Acts 23:6-9

There are two things I love about this exchange in Acts 23. First, Paul, understanding the culture of his countrymen, uses culture to his advantage. Second, Luke—the author of the Book of Acts—understanding that his primary audience (A non-Jewish man named Theophilus) did not grasp the cultural divide between the Jewish religious sects (Pharisees and Sadducees), takes a brief moment to explain why Paul’s simple statement about the resurrection caused an uproar and an end to the proceeding.

Culture is important!

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

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Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon

Acts 22

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Devotional

“Then He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you far from here to the Gentiles.’ ”
And they listened to him until this word, and then they raised their voices and said, “Away with such a fellow from the earth, for he is not fit to live!”

– Acts 22:21-22

Separated by both culture and 2,000 years of history, our 21st century western/American mind cannot fully grasp the gravity of the situation we read in these verses. Paul’s Jewish listeners gave him a solid hearing, even as he preached Jesus as the crucified and risen Christ. But when he revealed God’s call to bring the gospel to Gentiles, they could stomach no more.

The ethnic divide between Jews and Gentiles in the 1st century is one we cannot fully comprehend. The chasm between the two was culturally insurmountable.

I wonder what ways our cultural Christianity now hinders us from reaching those who remain in desperate need of the Gospel. Who is on your “unreachable” list? Muslims? The LGBT community? Republicans? Democrats?

Helpful Resources

Enduring Word Commentary with Pastor David Guzik

Read the Scriptures at Bible.com

Download the YouVersion Bible App

Additional Daily Devotionals

My Utmost for His Highest | Oswald Chambers

Morning & Evening | Charles Spurgeon