Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 08-22-23

Intro: God created His people to be successful and to approach work knowing He has placed us in His world to steward the gifts and resources He has given us for His mission. So, to be successful in life is to believe God has created us, gifted us, allows certain events, and will provide everything we need to fulfill His plan for us. Everything about us and the events of the world have been designed and directed by God to lead humanity into godliness. Therefore, two things are essential for us to reap what Christ has sown in our behalf: 1) belief and 2) honor.

“True Honor is an outflow from a heart that fears God.” (John Bevere)

Belief is based on recognizing and trusting God as Creator, Savior, Helper, and the promised Provider of grace. Honor is about committing every aspect of our lives to love God and His Word and to work to enhance His reputation in the world. When we honor God, He honors us (1 Sam 2:30). As well, we must choose to honor others (Rom 12:10). Certainly, new life in Christ is not given for our own selfish ambitions (Phil 2:3). Success is about overcoming an evil world in the power of God (1 John 5:4). Belief + Honor = Successful Living.

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul shares about Israel’s unbelief—God temporarily hardened their hearts, because they chose disobedience and rejected belief and honor. Disobedience brings judgment; but, because of God’s promise to Abraham and his descendants—those of belief who would honor God’s guidance—will have the ability to come to God and overcome evil through godliness. God has not forgotten his people; He knows those who place their belief in Him and honor Him with how they live.

For believers—Jews and Gentiles—we are blessed by Christ who is our Vine. To be connected to Christ is to be connected to the Father who has decided to make us One with Himself. Now, as the branches, we can by faith drink in the holy nourishment God has provided and live our saved lives as an offering to Him.

Romans 11:13-24 NLT 13 I am saying all this especially for you Gentiles [Non-Jews]. God has appointed me as the apostle to the Gentiles. I stress this, 14 for I want somehow to make the people of Israel jealous of what you Gentiles have, so I might save some of them. 15 For since their rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, their acceptance will be even more wonderful. It will be life for those who were dead! 16 And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy—just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.

17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree.

Prayer: Lord, thank You for being so faithful to Your people. Help believers worldwide to live with such passion and love for You that others cannot help but take notice and become hungry for Your nourishment, as well. We pray for the nation of Israel and for the Jewish people to turn to You for salvation in Christ. As well, we pray for the Gentile nations of the world who do not know and serve You. May they turn toward You, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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