January 7-January 13, 2018


Romans 1:1-7


The story goes:

Many centuries ago in the land of Israel, one of the early rabbis was returning home from a long day in the House of Study. It was later than usual, and as he walked home, the sun set. Lost deep in thought, he took the left fork instead of the right when the path split. Instead of nearing home, he ended up by a Roman outpost.

“Who goes there?” boomed a deep voice in the dark, shaking him from his thoughts. Confused, the rabbi tried to figure out who this was at his home.

“Who are you and what are you doing here?” the voice called again as the Roman centurion now stepped into view.

The rabbi quickly realized the mistake that he must have made. Instead of answering the centurion’s questions, he replied, “How much are you paid to stand here every day?”

“Three drachma,” replied the centurion.

“I see,” said the rabbi. “I will pay you twice as much to stand in front of my door and ask me the same questions every single day.

Though the centurion remained at his post, the rabbi often told this story to his students. He reminded them that though we spend much time trying to come up with the right answers, we don’t spend hardly enough time coming up with the right questions.

Who are you and what are you doing here? Understanding who you are and why you are here is vitally important, as a Christian, or follower of Christ. In Romans 1:1, we saw who Paul was and what he was doing here, or his identity statement. He was:

  • a servant of Christ Jesus
  • called to be an apostle
  • set apart for the gospel of God

It is safe to say that, along with the Holy Spirit, having a clear answer to just these two questions made Paul an extremely, focused, fruitful, and effective follower of Christ.  

In your CG this week, begin answering these two questions. Spend time with this week’s Scriptures below and reflect with the following questions and prompts:

What answers did you hear to these two questions from these texts? Who is Jesus? Why did Jesus come? Who are you? Why are you here? 

Confess how often you forget who you are and why you are here. Confess how such forgetfulness causes you to lose focus of Christ or the set apart life to which he has called you. Confess how forgetting makes you ineffective and unfruitful. But also, confess the reality of who you are, Christian. What verse(s) do you cling to for your identity in Christ? 

Pray that God would give you understanding as to who you are and why you are here. Pray that you would remember and that your life would be fitting to your identity in Christ. Pray for your unbelieving friends—that God would reveal himself to them through your witness so that they too would be reconciled to God. 


Read Romans 1:1-7.

Read Mark 2:13-17.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

Read Romans 1:1-7.