Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK NINE
ORBIT – DAY FORTY FIVE
Hello and welcome to another Orbit, the daily devotional thought from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. Each day we provide you with just a few minutes of reflection on a passage from the Bible, plus a way to put it into action in your everyday life. Today we are visiting Paul’s letter to the Romans for the final time.
BIBLE READING – Romans 16: 25-27
Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.
I don’t know how you sign your letters, but I’m pretty confident that like me, you don’t have quite the style and panache of the apostle Paul! These verses are the writer’s final thoughts for the Roman Church, but since Paul never wastes a single word, they still pack a huge theological punch. In fact, they wrap up many of the themes that Paul has been discussing over the previous 16 chapters. The man knows how to compose a letter!
These last few sentences are really about giving all glory to God, but contained within them are a few really important statements.
First, he reminds the readers that Jesus didn’t just appear out of nowhere, but was long prophesied in the Old Testament. The book of Isaiah, written many hundreds of years previously, talks in detail about who Jesus will be. And even long before that, Jesus shows up in all sorts of interesting places, from Genesis to the Psalms. Paul says that the mystery of Jesus was kept hidden for a long time, but thrillingly that mystery has now been revealed.
Second, he wants to make absolutely sure that they understand that God is now welcoming all people into his family, and not just those who grew up as part of the nation of Israel. At first, God had a relationship with humanity through a single people, divided into 12 tribes. As the Old Testament goes on, we realise that God is planning to extend and broaden his family, to include all nations. And when Jesus comes, he creates a way for that to be possible. And that’s very good news for us; most of us listening to this would be classified as Gentiles!
Finally Paul wants to remind the Romans that their hope is eternal, not just for the present moment. Knowing Jesus does make a difference and an improvement to our lives in the here and now, but long-term the prize is eternity with him. That’s why it’s important to say that glory goes to God forever – because as Christians we have a hope that lasts for longer than we can possibly imagine.
What ties all those thoughts together? Perhaps the idea that God is operating on a much bigger and wider canvas than we can get our heads around. He holds all of time and history in his hands, and is unfolding a grand plan, of which we only really get to see a tiny part. Isn’t it incredible though, that the God who operates on such a massive scale, is still interested in involving little, seemingly insignificant us, in that plan?
God is working out a magnificent story which last for all of eternity, and yet he calls us to be a part of it. Paul recognised that God deserves all glory and worship. He certainly deserves our worship too.
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God we praise you in awe and wonder. You created the universe, and you not only created us, but are interested in the minute details of our lives too. We are not so arrogant as to assume we can fully understand you, but we thank you for all that we do know through your word, and through our experience of your grace in our lives. We thank you that you deem us worthy to play a part in your plan. Amen.
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
As we reach the end of the book of Romans, why not take a few minutes – or perhaps even half an hour – to look back over this titanic letter? Reflect on what has jumped out at you over the past few weeks, and ask God to remind you of the things that he really wants you to take away.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit on Monday. Thanks for taking part today!