Thursday, October 25
ISRAEL’S REJECTION OF CHRIST
I speak the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience testifies to me through the Holy Spirit — 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the benefit of my brothers and sisters, my own flesh and blood. 4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. 5 The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.
GOD’S GRACIOUS ELECTION OF ISRAEL
6 Now it is not as though the word of God has failed, because not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7 Neither are all of Abraham’s children his descendants. On the contrary, your offspring will be traced through Isaac. 8 That is, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but the children of the promise are considered to be the offspring. 9 For this is the statement of the promise: At this time I will come, and Sarah will have a son. 10 And not only that, but Rebekah conceived children through one man, our father Isaac. 11 For though her sons had not been born yet or done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to election might stand — 12 not from works but from the one who calls — she was told, The older will serve the younger. 13 As it is written: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau.
GOD’S SELECTION IS JUST
14 What should we say then? Is there injustice with God? Absolutely not! 15 For he tells Moses, I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then, it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture tells Pharaoh, I raised you up for this reason so that I may display my power in you and that my name may be proclaimed in the whole earth. 18 So then, he has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy and he hardens whom he wants to harden.
Paul ended on a victorious note in Romans 8, so why is it that it seems his tone is much more somber in these verses? Simply explained, It’s really easy for Paul to experience excitement about God’s victorious love that, as Christians, we can never be separated from. Now Paul is experiencing the opposite while considering those who seem to be without Christ’s love. Think about it, if there is no condemnation for those IN CHRIST then there is nothing but condemnation for those without Him. That’s a horrible reality, one that should sadden and humble us. The better we understand Jesus and who He is, the more it should compel us to want others to know Him as well. The more like Jesus we become, the more willing we are to sacrifice ourselves for the benefit of others. After- all, the heart of Jesus was cursed and condemned on behalf of others so they would be saved. As we get closer to the heart of Christ, our own hearts should be softened just as Paul’s was for the lost and unsaved around Him.
Today, ask God to give you a very unselfish faith. A faith that celebrates what He’s done for you but goes beyond that and motivates you to share it with others. Ask God to open your eyes to the people who are without the peace, freedom, and salvation that you’ve be given.
Father, soften my heart towards the people around me. Help me realize that it would be the greatest joy I could experience to see someone go from death to life, and allow me to play a role in that.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.