Romans 16;19, NIV
“Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil”
Paul’s letter to the Romans is an amazing exposition of the foundations of Christian truth, which we would do well to read at regular intervals throughout our Christian life. His teaching comes to us under the anointing of the Holy Spirit with the very power of God. In the last chapter he sends his greetings to many different believers and members of his wider family and right at the end he urges the Christians in Rome to keep away from those who put obstacles in the way of believers and who create division by bringing contrary teaching (Romans 15:17-18).
Then, in our verse for today he rejoices in the fact that the Roman Christians are famous for their obedience to the word of God, as it has been taught to them. The message of obedience is one that goes throughout Scripture – from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus himself said, “if you love me you will obey me.” (John 14:23). No wonder Paul rejoiced over the believers in Rome who had really understood that the key to knowing God’s blessings was to walk in obedience to His love.
What Paul said next speaks right into the day and age in which we live. Today we are growing up a generation who have little understanding of what is right and good and who have been robbed of their innocence at a very early age. Satan has so used the media and, even, our educational systems to destroy the very foundations that are so precious and which make for a lifetime of being able to live within the blessings of God.
When I read these words from Paul’s timeless messages to the Church contained within his letter, I found myself praying with renewed urgency for our children and grand-children – that there will be a renewed determination within the Body of Christ to protect them from the onslaughts of evil and that God will plant in their hearts a desire to know and live within the parameters of what is right and good. But what we pray for the next generations must also be our own desire – otherwise our prayers for the generations to come will be nullified by the hypocrisy of our own hearts!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the amazing teaching Paul gave us in his letter to the Romans. Help me, Lord, to always desire that which is innocent, wise and good and to be diligent in my prayers for the coming generations who are growing up in a society that has blurred the boundaries of truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.