Prayer Focus: United Kingdom

Bible Reading: Romans 9-11

Scripture

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.  As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”  Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.  For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”  Romans 10:8–13

Observation

Paul has made the distinction between faith and works.  Those who were trying to attain righteousness by working their way to God have missed the point.  It is by faith that we are made right with God and we do good works out of gratitude for giving us the gift of faith.  But faith isn’t based on something insubstantial.  Faith is based on something God actually did; He raised Jesus from the dead.  That’s not a blind faith, that’s an historical event that proves that Jesus is Lord.  If you believe that you will be saved.

Those last two sentences show the generosity of God.  He isn’t standing up in heaven waiting to zap us into hell.  God is on our side.  When we call on the name of Jesus He is generous with his gift of faith, love, mercy and salvation.  Paul can proclaim with confidence that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Application

Faith often gets a bad rap.  It’s often regarded as wishful thinking not based in reality.  But right here Paul tells us that faith is based on an actual event, a miracle of God that was witness by hundreds of people.  I think it was C.S. Lewis who made the analogy that a man isn’t faithful to his wife because he thinks she exists; rather he’s faithful to her because he knows she exists.

The name of Jesus often gets left behind.  His name is left behind because we want to find other ways for people to be saved; either by good works, other gods, or other traditions.  In reality there is only way to be saved and it’s available to all; by calling on the name of Jesus Christ.

Paul’s letter to the Romans really leaves no doubt that salvation is in the hands of God and he delivers it to us through Jesus Christ.  We can try to get around that all we want,  but there’s no use and furthermore, no need.  Is God not able to reach any one He wants?  Is God somehow prohibited from reaching the aborigine in the remote parts of the world that has never heard the gospel?  Is God an idol that can not speak or move?  No, God is the creator of the universe who is everywhere all the time.  He is constantly speaking to us through prayer, through nature.  In Psalm 19 it says that the heavens declare the glory of God; day and night they pour forth speech.

If you’re trying to work your way to God, stop.  Put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and He will save you without reservation.  Then you get to the business of doing good things to proclaim the glory of God and instead of it being a burden, it will become a joy!

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you so much for saving me.  Thank you so much for your gift of faith.  If I tried to work my way to heaven I would fall short every time.  I don’t think I could even get up the first step.  Guide your people to proclaim your glory.  For those who are trying to work their way to you, relieve their burden.  For those that don’t know you, open their hearts.  For those that trust in you by faith give us courage and boldness to reach out with your love and mercy and share that faith with those who need it.  How can they hear, unless we speak?  Move us to live according to your word and move us to speak about your great gift of salvation.  Amen.

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