By Jillian Evans
Lectionary reading for 12/06/2022: Psalm 21; Isaiah 41:14-20; Romans 15:14-21
Selected passage for reflection: Romans 15:14-21
Romans 15:14-21 NIV
14 I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”[a]
Have you ever heard the phrase, “when you know better, you do better?” It’s something my husband likes to say to our kids to remind them of the lessons they have learned when their actions don’t reflect what they have learned. In this passage, Paul is writing to the Romans and begins his letter by saying “when you know better, you do better.” In the same way that our own children need to be redirected, we as children of God need to be reminded of God’s teachings and be redirected in our actions. This is why we form the habits that we do. Going to church allows us to hear from the Lord weekly and fellowship with others who are followers of Christ. Reading the bible at home gives us unscheduled opportunities to feast on the word of God. It is during these solo times with God that He can reveal His word in new ways. Having an active prayer life is crucial to a good relationship with God. We can go to Him in prayer to do a self-check on our direction in life. God is faithful. If we seek Him, He will be there. He will help us “do better.”
As followers of Christ, we study the Bible which means our walk should reflect what we know. However, as flawed human beings, we sometimes go astray. But with the right habits in place, we give God ample opportunity to redirect our paths. No matter how many times, we stray, God does not give up on us, so don’t give up on Him! Now that you know better, do better!
Try a new spiritual practice. Here are some suggestions: daily devotions, lectio divina, journaling, daily examen. Pick something that speaks to your heart and spend regular time with God.
I thank you for never giving up on me. I am forever grateful for You walking beside me in this life. Help me to live a life that is pleasing to You. Please lovingly correct me when I have gone astray for it is my desire to live a life modeled after Christ Jesus.Thank you for being my rock.
In Jesus name, Amen
About the Author
Jillian Evans is a Spiritual Director in Chicago, Illinois. She is passionate about children’s ministry and has spent over half her life in ministry to children and their families. She and her husband are recent empty nesters with two children in college and one child who just graduated from college.