Friday, January 6, 2023


Today’s Reading: Romans 3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).


This is known as the Mamertine Prison. Tradition tells us that Paul and Peter were both held in this prison before they were martyred (a photo of the inside of the prison is below). Upon entering the city of Rome, “Julius, a Centurion of the Augustan Regiment” (Acts 27:1) handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. “Now when we came to Rome, the Centurion delivered the prisoners to the Captain of the Guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him” (Acts 28:16).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: Romans 3:28 & 29

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also…


Justification (a declaration of righteousness before God) by faith was the reason given for the Protestant Reformation. The story is that Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Priest, travelled to Rome for the purpose of gaining favour with God and an inner assurance of his salvation. He probably visited the prison pictured above. It is reported that as he ascended a stairway into a church, step by step on his knees, reciting prayers on each step, he jumped to his feet, exclaiming the Scripture, “The just shall live by faith.” He returned to Germany where he nailed his declaration of salvation by faith, and not by the keeping of the law, to the the door of a church, along with many other theses. As they say, “the rest is history.” What Luther and many others hoped would be a reformation in the Church became a high wall of division. The action of the Church courts, and unwise people on both sides of the issue, eventually produced different denominations. It could’ve been different. For example, Acts 15:1-11. Why was there not a new denomination or an independent church body formed in the first century? We may want to take time now to think about that question.


Lord Jesus, help me to always “hold the truth in love.” I pray You will enable me to be part of resolving strongly held differences as Peter was in Acts 15. I ask for greater wisdom. You promised that if I would ask You would give wisdom liberally (James 1:5). Amen!


Paul wrote his “epistle of joy,” Philippians, from prison. I can’t imagine myself having such an overcoming experience in Christ as to be able to rejoice so enthusiastically in similar circumstances. I do know that God does give grace to endure, but seldom in advance of the trial. He does so as we have need.

Concerning divisions in the church, Jesus prayed for all who profess to follow Him, “…that they all may be one” (John 17:20-23). I have seen the power in working together for winning people to Jesus. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, many walls came down between denominations. I was asked by the Archbishop Cardinal of Toronto to preach a mission in Varsity Stadium sponsored by the Roman Catholic Arch Diocese of Toronto. Literature on the assurance of salvation by faith was distributed to thousands as they responded to my Billy Graham-style invitation. There was a strong sense that Jesus’ John 17 prayer request was being answered by the Father with a loud “Yes.” I believe that God is more than willing to continue to say “Yes” to Jesus’ prayer. I pray for much more of God’s unconditional love to expand my capacity to love and to overflow my life with His message of salvation.

Yours for an answer to Jesus’ prayer, unhindered by pride in a denomination or by human self-righteousness,


P.S. My eldest son, David Reynold, and his wife Kathy, live in Uganda where their mission is to be a part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity among Christians in that country. Here’s a link describing their work. Please remember them in your prayers. Thank you so very much!

Inside the Mamertine Prison, this metal grate in the floor covers where the prisoners were lowered into their prison cell. The first time Paul was imprisoned he was in a private house; however, the second time he was probably here, under Nero, who had him beheaded.


13 thoughts on “Friday, January 6, 2023

  1. What a truly amazing development World Embrace is. The photography is also outstanding. A real blessing for the community and the churches. Praying for Wisdom for the “B” family that are recovering from a difficult situation (son/brother recovering from cardiac arrest because of suicide attempt). Appreciate all prayers. Blessings all.

  2. Praying for the “B” family. Praying for salvation and healing. Praying as in Mark 11:23-24. Ask and believe and you shall receive. Praying that this person receives and accepts salvation and healing

    • I am continuing to pray for that young man and his family. May he realized that he now has a second chance to make a difference in his live by serving the Lord with all his heart. I am also praying for the family as well give them strength, Lord in the days that lay ahead .

  3. I just went back to check comments from yesterday. Some days there are no comments if I’m reading the blog early.
    Thanks Rob for sharing the article ‘the coup we never knew’. I continue to pray for strong Godly leadership in our countries. Our leaders seem bent on destroying believers and allowing the devil free access

    I hope this link opens

    • Incredible! Truly incredible. I. would like to see that colouring book. I would complain and I hope parents that come across it will do the same.

  4. Joining HJR in prayer for the B family. May this son recognize how much he is loved by God and may he be overwhelmed by this love and be encouraged and changed forever. May God do, as only He can do, and turn this situation around for the good of this man and the glory of His name.

    God of Mercy and Grace, shine Your light on us!

    • Luisa. agreeing with you in prayer for the
      B family. Thank You Lord for answering our prayers,
      in Jesus’ Blessed Name, Amen.

  5. Dear Lord God, we’ve been told, wisely, to ‘turn our eyes upon Jesus’, to ‘look on His wonderful face, and the things of Earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace’.
    Yes, Lord, help us to look up to You, cast our cares on You, and pray in all circumstances. You are our provider, the friend who sticks closer than a brother, and we commit all our concerns to You. Have Your good way in all situations, large and small, and help us live as citizens of Your righteous kingdom. Help us share Truth and grace with others today, Lord, in Jesus’s great name, amen

    • Amen to your prayer Rob.
      I have a personal prayer request that God would
      guide my family to make the right decision about
      a health issue concerning our son.
      Thanks everyone for your prayers.

      • Dear Joyce: I will pray for your son’s health problems. The Lord knows all about this situation so I pray that He will intervene in your family’s lives and help you and them make the right decision for him.

  6. Thanks folks for your prayers for B family. Thankss so very much. May God bless you all and your loved ones Times are difficult for many people just now. I have a Ukrainian neighbour with family in the Ukraine. She told me of real difficulties there. Praying for them & worried relatives here. Thanks again for praying.

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