Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Romans 1:1-7 in The Message (MSG). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: My son Jonah and I recently watched the movie The Darkness Hour, which depicts the the rise of Winston Churchill during World War II. In one scene, Churchill is dictating a letter to his assistant and it reminded me not only of how incredibly bright he was, but of how incredibly bright Paul must have been too. If you have been with us on the Daily Walk for a while, you may recall that when we reached Acts 17 a few months ago Paul was in his element in Athens, talking with the elite. He was standing in the middle of the Areopagus—that is, Mars Hill—addressing the home of wisdom. This was the epicenter and cradle of civilized debate. The birthplace of democracy. There he quoted the poets of old, and challenged the current thought leaders to know Jesus.
Paul was terribly bright and dictation would have been second nature for him. In fact, we know that several of his letters were dictated to secretaries who wrote them. The role of secretaries at this time varied, according to historians. Some of them simply wrote exactly what was said; others made edits as the person spoke, and others still would engage more fully in the writing process becoming a co-author. However in the case of Romans, as Charles H. Talbert suggests in his commentary, Paul did not have a co-author.
In the Pauline corpus coauthors are mentioned in the case of Galatians (all the brethren with me); 1 Thessalonians (Silvanus and Timothy); 1 Corinthians (Sosthenes); 2 Corinthians, Philippians, and Philemon (Timothy), 2 Thessalonians (Timothy and Silvanus); Colossians (Timothy). No coauthors are mentioned for Romans, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus. The mention of coauthors indicated that the author consulted with his companion(s) and then did the dictation himself. (p. 25)
What Paul had to share had been building up within him for a long time. I doubt he had any real difficulty in expressing exactly what he wanted to say. You notice how from the beginning, he does not skip a beat or even seem to take a breath. There is no need to inhale when there is so much to exhale about Jesus.
Recalibrate: What part of your story with Jesus would you find the easiest to share?
Respond: Pray for the chance to share that story today.
Research: Read one of the other letters by Paul.
Remember: “This letter is to all of you in Rome whom God loves and has called to be his holy people.” —Romans 1:7 (ICB)
Japhet is senior pastor at Boulder Adventist Church in Boulder, CO, and was co-founder of the One project. Originally from southeast London, Japhet served as a pastor and as youth director in the South England Conference for nine years before moving to the United States in 2006. He was director for the Center for Youth Evangelism (CYE), chaplain for missions, and university chaplain at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI. Japhet has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Andrews University (Newbold College campus). He has taught youth ministry, coordinated a master’s in youth ministry program, and spearheaded numerous conferences and initiatives. He is married to Becky and they have two sons, Joshua (18) and Jonah (14).
Wonder Sing "Jesus Loves Me This I Know” Check this out on YouTube. The simple message of the Gospel is the most important message you will share with your child. Sing it to yourself and then to your baby. Know it with every breath that you take.
From the beginning of time Jesus wanted to be with you. He came, He died and rose again so He could be with you. To be a Jesus sidekick, all you have to do is say "Yes, I believe and want to be with You" to Jesus.
Paul says to the Roman church that they are called to belong to Jesus Christ. Make a list of the places you belong (school, friend groups, families, church, sports teams, camp). What makes you feel like you belong there? What are some ways that you are reminded that you belong to God? Who was the last person to remind you that you are chosen by Jesus?