THE ENDING TO ROMANS
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God to bring about the obedience of faith – to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen
It’s the end of Romans. How do you feel? Have you been changed?
I remember the day, sitting on the edge of my bed in a hotel room in Minneapolis, that God spoke to me and impressed upon me to study and teach Romans. I was trembling, literally, with the prospect of such an undertaking. That was two years ago. Two hundred and forty devotionals later, you’ll never know how many mornings I feared that I would never grasp the meaning of the verse in front of me. My testimony today is this ~ The Holy Spirit loves to teach and is faithful to anyone who seeks to be moved by the most difficult scriptures.
In the end, Paul’s last words are about the sources of strength. He will need it for the violent end of his life and ministry. And he knows we will need it too. We have been sent out to live as sheep amongst wolves.
Are you fearful of the wolves? Are you out of physical strength? Out of emotional stamina? Are you intellectually tormented, wondering if what you believe is really true?
Paul sends us to three places to get strength.
- Review the Gospel. Go back through the Romans devotionals (perhaps you’ve saved a handful) and allow yourself to be stirred up by what you previously highlighted.
- Review Jesus’ words. What if I asked you to tell me your favorite Bible story about Jesus? What would it be? Why do the words move you? Explain them in a paragraph like you would to a child.
- Finally, go digging in Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Micah. Taste their despair over their times but also their hope in the Savior to come. Feel the wonder of Jesus’ arrival on the earth and be wide-eyed that you are alive in a time when you have the scriptures in front you and are able to see, both the prophecy, and the fulfillment. You have seen the mystery revealed.
Romans has given me substance and a weight to my faith. In the center of it is Jesus Christ, stunning in all of His glory, reminding me that the Gospel is a feast on so many theological and experiential dimensions. Even at the end of a book like Romans, I know I’ve only scratched the surface.
I hope you will journey with me to the next chapter of my life ~ whatever that may be.
To You be all glory, honor, and praise. Amen