Monday: For Good! – Romans 8:28-30
It’s important not to misunderstand verse 28. It does not mean that the Christian life is all plain sailing! It does not mean that, if things go wrong, it’s our fault or we did not love God enough. What Paul is saying, is that God will ensure that everything works out to our ‘ultimate’ benefit if we love Him. There will be troubles and difficulties we have to endure from time to time, just as, in the same way, we sometimes have to undergo unpleasant medical treatment but it will eventually cure us. Praise God that He has your life in His hands.
Tuesday: It Cannot Be! – Romans 8:28-30
No mistake! There is another important thought in verse 29. This verse has been used to support a theological principle of ‘predestination’. In other words, God chooses certain people (He ‘pre’-destines them) to be Christians and rejects others. This cannot be the act of an all-loving God. Neither would a grace-filled God predestine some people for salvation and condemn others for their actions. The truth is: our all-knowing God already knows who will follow Him and, in effect, He has already redeemed and glorified them.
Wednesday: Questions! – Romans 8:31-34
Paul poses 2 questions. Firstly, who is for/against us? It’s interesting that Paul uses God’s own words to Abraham (Genesis 22:16) when Abraham showed himself willing to sacrifice Isaac according to God’s command. This was the highest act of personal sacrifice and God did the same with Jesus. If He did that then, He is surely on our side. Second question: who will condemn us? Surely not Jesus who humbled himself to become like one of us and willingly accepted death on a cross for our salvation. (Philippians 2:6-8). Praise God!
Thursday: Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! – Romans 8:35-39
This week has been short readings because this section of chapter 8 contains some of the Bible’s most incredible truths. Here is another one! Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Paul lists all of the worst things he can think of in this life, as well as the next, and dismisses them as powerless to separate us from God’s love. In other words, there is nothing a child of God should fear either in this world or the next. We are surrounded by His love.
Friday: How Much? – Romans 9:1-6
One of the greatest problems the early church faced was the way in which the Jews had rejected Jesus. They were God’s chosen people but they had been instrumental in the Messiah’s brutal death. Notice Paul’s attitude. He is not angry. He is prepared to personally accept the harshest punishment and even separation from Jesus, if it means that the Jewish people would repent and believe. How much are we prepared to relinquish and suffer to bring those we know and love to Jesus?
Saturday: All-Knowing! – Romans 9:7-13
This is another difficult passage because it seems to say that God makes arbitrary decisions. However, it must be read in context. It was addressed to those who were battling with yesterday’s problem: how to respond to the Jews. Jews would have understood exactly what Paul was arguing. They knew the offspring of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar, were not true Jews. And the offspring of Esau were the Edomites, enemies of the Jews. An all-knowing God knew the outcome of these individuals long before their birth.