SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:14,15 – “I owe a debt to both civilized Greeks and uncivilized people, to both the educated and ignorant; therefore I am eager to proclaim the Good News also to you…” – NJB
Rom 1:14,15 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you… - NKJV
Rom 1:14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. - NLT
OBSERVATION: Today’s devotional reading was the first eight chapters of the book of Romans. There is enough theology to swim in for months! As I thought back over the reading this morning, the thought that kept popping back up came right from the beginning of the reading. The phrase, “I owe a debt.” I’ve read this passage many times but today, reading in the New Jerusalem Bible, that phrase, “I owe a debt,” gave me insight into the passion and drive of the Apostle Paul. He looked at the gospel (Good News) as something he owed to people. It didn’t matter their station in life, Greeks or barbarians, educated, uneducated, sophisticated or common, each were creditors worthy of receiving Good News. It seems he didn’t look at them whether they would receive it or not, or think him crazy or not, he looked and them and said to himself, “I owe it to them to share good news with them!”
APPLICATION: How many times have I shied away from telling someone the Good News because I thought more about their rejection than I did their need? Oh, that this truth would grip my heart! I owe it to them! I have a debt, I have to pay them what I owe them. I have Good News! My thought today is that I would be more faithful to give people what I owe them.
PRAYER: Father, I am convicted today by my sloth and laziness in sharing this Good News. I have often allowed fear to keep my sharing what I know to be life-giving information. I see how the Apostle saw it as a debt. I’m asking for grace to see afresh this debt I owe, and for the strength then to step out and share at the appropriate time in the appropriate way this debt of love that I carry. I thank You now for hearing and answering this prayer and determine to walk in fresh strength and grace today. Thank You, Lord!