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Romans 1:1-7

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 98:1-4

O sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm have gotten him victory. The Lord has made known his victory; he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

Luke 11:29-32

When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!



In the gospel message, when we consider how the people of Nineveh repented when Jonah proclaimed destruction to them, and the queen of the South journeyed from afar to listen to Solomon, we see that they were not waiting around for God to prove himself to them. The Ninevites obeyed their leader who decreed that all should fast and repent in sackcloth and ashes. There was a sense of conscience and obedience. There was authority and the rule of law.

The queen of the South was zealous for wisdom and sought after it to the extent that she traveled from the ends of the earth to hear it. So when Jesus came with John the Baptist as his herald of repentance, and his wisdom was marvelous to the teachers of the law at the age of twelve, and his authority was unprecedented in his preaching and his miracles, people ought to have been sufficiently convinced he was the Messiah without needing additional signs. Jesus saw this demand for proof as evil.

What signs do we need to be convinced that God is with us? What signs do we need to repent and demand holiness of ourselves? Today, we pray that our repentance, from the heart, becomes a daily exercise that frees us up to pursue God even more directly and in his service.


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