Romans 1 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is G_d’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek (Gentile). For in it G_d’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17
A friend told me of the graduate level negotiating class he took in college. The first day, the professor handed everyone in the class a list containing contact information for 200 businesses and organizations. The assignment was to call these companies and renegotiate everything from their cable bills to personal credit card percentage rates. The professor said, “The assignment is over when you get turned down 20 times.” My friend was amazed to find the semester ended without filling the “20 rejections” quota.
The point of the professor’s assignment was to condition these young negotiators not to be afraid to ask. My friend renegotiated all sorts of things he felt were “set in stone” by powerful institutions. He overcame his fear of asking, and he is a wealthy man today.
When we share the gospel, we are asking people to reconsider their opinions of G_d, Yeshua, the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) and the greater Messianic community. In essence, we are helping them “renegotiate” their eternal destinations.
If anyone had knowledge of the consequences of evangelism, it was Paul. Before he personally believed in Yeshua, Paul persecuted the Messiah’s followers. After he came to faith, Paul himself was persecuted, shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead.
But Paul had an intimate knowledge of G_d’s faithfulness. He knew G_d’s heart towards sinners who repented, and he loved people for who they could be in Messiah, rather than how they treated him at the moment.
Paul also loved people. He loved them enough to expose the sins that were keeping them from a right relationship with G_d. To Paul, the persecution he suffered was worth it, if he could convince men that salvation is by G_d’s grace, through faith in Messiah Jesus.
Paul was a very successful evangelist. This was not because of his intellect, or personal power of persuasion. Paul’s effectiveness came solely from the Holy Spirit…as does yours.
As Yeshua faithfully suffered for our sin and was resurrected, Paul also believed G_d by faith. When Paul believed by faith, the L_rd faithfully gave him the Ruach, as He promises all believers; and as Paul faithfully believed the testimony of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), people’s lives were drastically and eternally changed…and so it went “from faith to faith.”
Paul’s message to us: Do not be ashamed! Keep faithfully listening to the Ruach, and He will faithfully guide and empower you to accomplish Go_s purposes for His glory.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Thursday, August 15, 2013