Text: Romans 1:1
Theme: Paul knew who he was and what he was supposed to do.
Key phrases: “This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, chosen by God to be an apostle and sent out to preach his Good News” (v. 1).
What God said to me: Take careful time to walk through this book, Dwayne. I have much to show you during this journey. These times are not to be taken lightly. Come into every meeting with me ready to listen and learn. You will also need to rely on some trusted commentaries and concordances. This journaling experience will require you dig a bit deeper at times, to be sure you are correctly dividing my Word and understanding it more fully. Paul wanted his readers to know who wrote this letter and who this person is from his own perspective. Notice he described himself in 3 distinct ways: as a slave, as chosen and as sent out. He knew his place, his position and his purpose. His place in God’s Kingdom was as a slave. That was the first and foremost way he saw himself and his responsibilities. Whatever I told him to do, he did. No questions asked. He didn’t consider himself as special or kingly. He was simply my slave. Yet, he knew and was quick to point out that he was also chosen by me to be an apostle. He didn’t shy away from this high calling and privilege. He embraced it and used it to help give credibility and weight to his words. He also saw himself as “sent out to preach the Good News.” His whole purpose in life was to share the Gospel, to clarify and teach it, and to proclaim the Good News among those who didn’t know it (and sometimes didn’t want to hear it). Paul knew his place, position and purpose. Do you?
What I said to God: Thank You, holy God, for speaking clearly to me this morning. I so appreciate You giving me insight and challenging me even in this first lesson and first verse in Romans. I’m excited to learn much and grow deep through this time in Paul’s excellent letter.