Daily Devotional from Jen Auer 06-03-24

Paul’s letter to the church in Rome was intended as a gesture of love and encouragement. The Apostle Paul most likely wrote to the community of believers in Rome while he was still in Corinth. So, Paul had not “physically” met this community, but he knew that he was connected to each brother and sister in Christ Jesus. You and I share that same connection with Paul and this living Word that he wrote, because as believers we are the Church and connected as One Body (or Family) through Christ Jesus.

In chapter 9 of Romans, Paul expresses his sorrow and grief for “his people”, the Jewish people who would not accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Paul explains that God fulfills His promises because He is fair and true, and that includes the covenant that He made with His people, Israel. However, Paul wrote earlier in his letter that “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (8:28) This means that God is fair and true when we choose to love Him as a result of choosing to follow His Son, Jesus. We must remember that “God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)

Over the last five weeks, Pastor Mary has been teaching about the “Power for Balancing Grace and Faith” during Bible Study. We’ve spent a great deal with Paul and his letters to the Church and much discussion around our free-will and our choices. I’m bringing this up because the last five weeks are included in Paul’s letter today. Friends, please do not read these 10 verses and think that we do not have free-will or that our choices do not matter, because that could not be further from the Truth. God is God, He is the Creator, and He is the Potter Who made ALL of humanity, so each one of His Creation is a uniquely designed jar. But each “jar” has the choice to contain the Light of Christ within them or to contain the darkness of this world (that is controlled by Satan) in them. It was said best on Wednesday night: “God has always wanted all of His Creation to be saved”, and that is the Truth, but because of sin He graciously gave His Creation the choice, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His One and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) It is clear, we have a choice, and the only One that leads to eternal life is Jesus, so we must choose HIM!

Here’s the link to the Bible Study Playlist: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLanyGIohDYlW5hS6ap6afgAZzInWQ4gwC&si=cqkQpNqdy4fH-VKH

Romans 9:19-29 (NLT)

19 Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”

20 No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into? 22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. 24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.

25 Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea,

“Those who were not my people,
I will now call my people.
And I will love those
whom I did not love before.”

26 And,

“Then, at the place where they were told,
‘You are not my people,’
there they will be called
‘children of the living God.’”

27 And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out,

“Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore,
only a remnant will be saved.

28 For the LORD will carry out his sentence upon the earth
quickly and with finality.”

29 And Isaiah said the same thing in another place:

“If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies
had not spared a few of our children,
we would have been wiped out like Sodom,
destroyed like Gomorrah.”

Prayer: Jesus, thank You for laying down Your life so that I could choose to be saved from my sins. Holy Spirit, please help the Light of Christ that I contain within my vessel to shine brightly for others to see. Guide me to share Jesus’s love so that more hearts can choose to be saved. I ask this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

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