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November 8 – The means of faith

“For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” – Romans 1:9–12

Scripture reading: Romans 1

The word serve is also translated worship. The gospel is our worship. The gospel causes our worship. Worship then affects our service. The Reformed had this saying, “the way of worship is the way of life.” Worship, the means of grace, affects how we live. Proper devotion, through proper means, leads to true discipleship. The power of Paul’s service was found in the gospel, a gospel that empowered him to serve the church. Paul was gospeled through and through. It was the content of his service, it was the power behind his service. Prayer is not a means of grace, but a chief part of thankfulness for the means of grace. The means of grace is a gift from God that keeps on giving.

That gift is faith. The word “gift” is the noun charisma. Paul longed to visit Rome that he might give them charisma. Did he want to make them Pentecostal? No, it was a gift that strengthened. Paul was called by God to dispense the means of strength. What kind of strength? The means of grace strengthens faith. Now we can better understand Paul’s “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” The means of grace is a spiritual gift that strengthens us spiritually. The all things is the strengthening of our faith and obedience.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for strength and obedience to God’s Word.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Jared Beairdis the church planter and pastor of Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Missoula, Montana, USA.

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