Romans 1:16-32; 1 Samuel 9:1-10:16; Psalm 55
Paul lived in a time when there was no shame. People did whatever they liked, they indulged in any pleasure, and they engaged in licentious behavior and attributed their actions to one god or another. His message was so different, abhorrent even, to society that he was run out of town, left for dead, beaten and imprisoned. Still, Paul gloried in his afflictions. In a time when the only shame was to point out the evil in the world, Paul was not ashamed: “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) The rest of the first chapter of Romans details God’s grace and the shameful actions that put us all in the position of needing God’s grace. You can’t read this passage without finding at least one area where you’ve fallen short of God’s standards. Still, Paul reminds us that the gospel is the power of God for salvation in spite of whatever else we may have done. We live in a time when it seems like the only shameful actions in society are those that point out actions that God considers shameful. When we speak God’s truth on these issues, we must always remember that it’s only by God’s grace that we can live by faith – our lives fall into one sphere or another of those shameful actions. We may be ashamed of our sins and the sins of our nation, but we must never be ashamed of the gospel message. That message alone is the power of salvation for ALL who believe.
Dear Lord, I have fallen so short of Your standards. I have no right to even call on Your name. Thank You for the glorious message of salvation in Christ. May I always experience Your love and grace. May I never be ashamed to proclaim the glorious message of love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.