1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh,
4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His nam's sake,
6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ;
7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as Saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
How I long to be able to speak/write in a concise way that matters. These 7 verses MATTER! Verse 1, Paul's confidence in who he is and what his purpose in life is tremendous. He owns it in a very honest way. I long to wear my faith so boldly. So often I choose another "outfit" so to speak.
After is perfect intro of himself he makes it clear what it is he means when he writes, "the gospel of God." Talk about something that "matters." In others words, if you don't get this detail, do not move on. Paul is saying, "Get this!" This is the Christ, this is what He did, and this how it effects you.... all of you! Which of course, Paul is conveying during the entire book.
Verse 2- fullfillment of prophecy
Verse 3- His lineage
Verse 4- His declaration as the Son of God/ressurrection
Verse 5/6- Gifts/purposes that all Gentiles received as a result. A new identity, as well.
Verse 7- Paul greets the "beloved" Romans as the title that God has given them, "saints," probably as a reminder and probably because Paul had that same outlook on them as God does.
What would my life look like if I never forgot who I truly am in God? What if I took on my title and lived it out? How would I treat others in Christ if regarded them as God does? My marriage, parenting skills, friends, ministry and so on????
Too often I take the title of sinner vs. the title of one who is redeemed. It is so easy to do nothing living as an "owned up" sinner. Of course, I would expect nothing of me and it is easy to talk myself into believing that God doesn't either. "He wants me to shape up before...."
I have got to allow myself to be lifted up higher than where I place myself because it is Christ Himself that put me there. Who am I to live a life in utter rejection of His work? I have got to get past living a fine life and into living a dangerously righteous life that is set apart for the gospel of God.
How to do that? I am a stay at home mom of 3 small ones.... Prayer. I believe that my prayer life needs to step it up. Do I dare pray in a radical manner? I think that I should. Is my heart ready to be open for whatever it is that may come of this? Oh man.
Break me out of my life and set me into the one that You have for me. Give me the opportunities to be used in a manner that would shine the light on You. Puncture my heart with a love that is so great for those in this world that I cannot ignore, but must act for them, in Your holy name.