I love Paul’s opening words to the Romans . . . especially this verse:
I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God and are called to be his own holy people.Romans 1:7
We don’t know how the church in Rome started. None of the Apostles had been there and the New Testament wasn’t available yet.
It’s possible some of the people in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit filled the believers and Peter preached on Pentecost were from Rome. Or maybe some of them had simply heard the message of Jesus, the Savior, from scattered persecuted followers.
But however they heard, Paul wrote:
I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world.Acts 1:8
Can you imagine? What would it be like if your church or mine had that kind of reputation?
People were shining the light of God’s love in ways that were being noticed and talked about . . . in a good way!
They weren’t just talking about the Good News, they were living it!
Faith lived out in faithfulness.
I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ . . . This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”Romans 1:16a,17
Faith is a gift.
The promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift.Romans 4:16
And the Holy Spirit makes faithfulness possible.
The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.Galatians 5:22–23a
You and I are made right with God through faith in Jesus. Not by obeying a bunch of religious rules. Not by following a list of religious traditions. But by faithfully trusting Jesus, the Word made flesh. (John 1:14) A faith that surrenders to the Holy Spirit allowing Him to give us the fruit of faithfulness and so much more.
A Prayer to Live with Faith and Faithfulness
Father, thank you for loving me. Thank you for the gift of faith and for making me Your child. It’s easy for us to think we have to do something to receive Your grace and mercy. But Your Word clearly says we are saved by faith plus nothing. God, You sent Jesus because You love us. Jesus died for us because You love us. And the Spirit gives of faith because You love us.
Please increase my faith. I want to trust You always and in all circumstances. I want to be confident that Your will is always for my good as well as Your glory. And I want to be faithful and obedient, doing Your will as You reveal it to me. I want to quickly repent each flaw and failure and I want to forgive as I have been forgiven.
And most of all, I want to live and love like Jesus.
Lord, I need You and I need Your help. On my own, I am selfish and self-focused. But with Your Spirit, I am able to show patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control . . . I am able to love and live with peace and joy. I am able to live with faith and faithfulness. Your grace overwhelms me. Your love surrounds me. I am blessed. Thank you. Amen.
Maybe you feel like you’re the person who gets left out when gifts are being distributed. Maybe you feel like blessings are for everyone but you.
But after Paul wrote the following words after telling Timothy about the importance of praying for everyone:
This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.1 Timothy 2:3–4
The gift of faith is something God wants for each of us. In fact, it’s something He wants so much . . . He provides everything we need to make it possible.
Trust Him. SEEK Him. Ask Him . . . I promise He will bless you with the gift of faith and faithfulness.
On today’s note write:
Praise God for the blessing of faith and faithfulness!
May God bless you today as you thank Him for the gift of faith.
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