Whose Are You?
Lord God, speak clearly to me today, I pray, even though Your Word is sometimes hard for me to understand.
Read Romans 1:1-7
 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-  the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures  regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David,  and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.  Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.  And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.  To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do we learn about Paul and Jesus here?
Look at the way Paul identifies himself at the beginning of his letter (1,5). A “servant (or ‘slave’) of Christ Jesus” identifies Paul as obedient and loyal to Jesus. As an apostle he is “called…and set apart” for Gospel ministry. Paul’s greeting announces his total allegiance to the Gospel of God’s Son (2-4); it also depicts a man whose “call” was a way of life. Belonging to God was all-consuming. When meeting new people, at what point do you reveal your faith identity? Paul probably shared it with his handshake! However I was stunned when my job-hunting daughter was advised that mentioning church attendance might limit her opportunities. Increasingly today, it’s politically incorrect to share our faith identity. But if I comply, I cringe inside. Under siege for the Gospel, it was difficult for Paul, also. Yet he encourages the Romans into their new identity of belonging to Jesus (6), calling for a life consistent with the Gospel (“holy people,” 7). When your faith identity is made public, the pressure is on to live accordingly.
Ask God for courage to reveal your faith identity, perhaps at work, in leisure pursuits or with your neighbors.
Lord, I’m Your follower and I don’t want to hide it. Give me the courage I need to share it.
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