“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
We have been chosen in Christ to bear fruit. Christians do bear fruit, but not in their own power. God gives the increase (cf. 1 Cor 3:6). He does so through the means of grace. What is the means of grace? What strengthens our faith? It’s why Paul was so anxious to visit Rome. The means of grace is the preaching of the gospel. Therefore, it must be freely offered to all. Paul was compelled to preach to all Gentiles, to as many as would believe. The means of grace is for the wise. There is enough wisdom in the gospel to hold the attention of the brightest among us. It is simple enough for the least unlearned to grasp. It is the power of God for all people, therefore it is administered through preaching.
Paul wasn’t eager to play the guitar for Rome. He wasn’t excited to watch some media about the life of Christ or to give them marching orders. One thing compelled his ministry – preaching Christ and Him crucified. The message of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is the means of grace. Do you long for peace? Joy? To be loved by God? Then receive the means of grace, a grace greater than your sin. That is, trust the finished work of Christ, Who died for your sins and was raised for your justification. The promise is for you and your children – no more condemnation.
Suggestions for prayer
Pray that in church tomorrow the means of grace would be administered freely and that God would empower His preached 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.