Thursday, February 27, 2014

Online Devotion: What the World Needs - Romans 1:5

Romans 1:5    Through Christ, and for the sake of His Name, grace and apostleship were given to us, in order to call people from all over the world toward faith and obedience.
(Passage context: Romans 1:1-7)

What the world needs now is the grace of Christ.

We've all become insecure and defensive, easily offended and constantly aggressive. We talk about toleration and coexistence, but we don’t practice or even exercise them. We are still hostile to our enemies and appalled by other ideas. We are quick to point out the weaknesses, faults, and inefficiencies of other people, but pride and self-centeredness won’t allow us to admit our own wrongs, failings, and inadequacies. We live our lives as we see fit, and justify whatever we do. We don’t accept blame easily, but we are often ready to identify other people as blameworthy. In short, everything that goes wrong in the world is someone else’s fault; everything that needs to be fixed in our lives is someone else’s problem.

Our lives were never meant to be like this. We were made to obey God and give our days to Him. We are the heart of His Creation, which He wants us to enjoy forever, but because we busy ourselves with other things and burden our lives with trivia, superficiality, and false senses of importance, we lose those precious moments of sacred presence, and drift further away from God’s love.

We need Christ’s grace in our lives to halt our weary un-holiness and put an end to the digital urgency that exhausts our minds and souls. We need Christ’s grace to re-open our eyes in order to see the beauty and wonder of Creation that we once knew as little children. We need Christ’s grace to help us both understand and cherish that each day is a gift, full of moments where God can be found and His love experienced. We need Christ’s grace to fully realize that we are just children, playing on a planet, under the watchful gaze of our Loving Creator.

Question for personal reflection

Where have I seen God in the world today?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, help us to see the world through Your eyes. Enable us to embrace Your love and receive Your grace. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask a question about today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is an old stained glass picture that John designed several years ago. It’s called “A New Earth.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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