In the first chapter of Romans, Paul talks about the reputation of the believers in Rome . . . what they were being commended for. I find it very interesting that it is so different from what we typically commend churches and believers for today.
They weren’t commended for their growth. For the number of converts they made or how many people they baptized.
They weren’t commended for their attendance records or how many members they had.
People weren’t raving about their programs. About how great their different ministries were doing.
The headlines weren’t about how beautiful their building was or how state of the art their services were.
People weren’t praising them for their good deeds. For how well they ministered to the people in their community. About the after school programs for the neighborhood kids or the food bank they kept well stocked or the yard work they did for the elderly.
As good as all these things are, that’s not the main thing being talked about.
Romans 1:8 says, “[the report of] your faith is made known to all the world and is commended everywhere. ”
That’s what was making international headlines.
Not their good deeds, not the number of their converts, not their selfless generosity.
Paul and apparently a lot of other people were talking about their FAITH.
Not their religion. Not their denomination. Not their belief system.
But their “believing” system.
I once heard someone say that our job as Christ-followers is to believe that God can do His job.
Sounds simple enough.
Believe that God can do His job.
To me I think this means going through my day doing my part: making myself available to God to make me more like Him as an employee, a friend, a neighbor–whatever roles I fulfill each day. While trusting God to do His part: open doors of opportunity, change hearts of people around me, change my heart about the people around me, convict, convince, provide, comfort, heal, calm, redeem, revive, renew, restore, grant favor, give life . . . all the things only HE can do.
That takes a lot of pressure off me.
I still have a part to play. I still have to make myself available to God to change and to use. And I still have to believe that He can and will change me and use me. And then I just need to let Him.
Faith. Believing God can do His job.
Is that the headline being written about us today?