Romans 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.Introductory Thoughts

No doubt Paul spoke to the Lord about Hymenaeus and Alexander and their wickedness (1 Timothy 1:20; 2 Timothy 4:14), but he most likely expended his strength thanking God for believers like those in Rome (Romans 1:8). All believers should thank God for those whose reputations have been carefully maintained. Throughout the world, people spoke of the faith of those in Rome. The Bible tells us that news of their obedience spread abroad unto all men (Romans 16:19). Although Paul would commend them for their godly reputations, he knew who ultimately deserved the thanks. In like manner, believers today should put forth more strength thanking God for good reputations.

 Devotional Thoughts

• (For children): Read why Paul was thankful for Philemon (Philemon 4-7); for the saints in the church at Colosse (Colossians 1:1-4). Name someone who lives for the Lord and for whom you are especially thankful.

• (For everyone): When is the last time you thanked God for the good reputations of certain believers? Do you spend too much time complaining about the carnal saints and too little time thanking God for those who bear a good testimony?

• Do you have a good reputation? How did you ultimately gain that reputation? Have you thanked God for it?

Prayer Thoughts

• Thank God for the godly reputations of those you know.

• Ask God to protect these believers.