Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 9-21-18

September 21, 2018

Romans 11:25-32 The Message (MSG)

In God’s economy of love, everyone who calls on the name of the Lord benefits.  God loves everyone so he opens the door for relationship and everyone who reaches for God experiences that love.  It’s really a win-win, because God extends love and receives love as we receive love and return love.  

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul is sharing about Israel—the people of God—and their future since many Jews rejected their Messiah in his first coming.  Can there still be a win-win?  Can Gentiles and Jews find themselves being loved by a holy God even though at one time we were both outside of his love?   According to Scripture, God has the final say over all creation.  He has declared to be faithful to his “oldest friends.”

Romans 11:25-32  A Complete Israel

25-29 I want to lay all this out on the table as clearly as I can, friends. This is complicated. It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume that you’re royalty and they’re just rabble, out on their ears for good. But that’s not it at all. This hardness on the part of insider Israel toward God is temporary. Its effect is to open things up to all the outsiders so that we end up with a full 

house. Before it’s all over, there will be a complete Israel. As it is written,

A champion will stride down from the mountain of Zion;

    he’ll clean house in Jacob.

And this is my commitment to my people:

    removal of their sins.

From your point of view as you hear and embrace the good news of the Message, it looks like the Jews are God’s enemies. But looked at from the long-range perspective of God’s overall purpose, they remain God’s oldest friends. God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.

30-32 There was a time not so long ago when you were on the outs with God. But then the Jews slammed the door on him and things opened up for you. Now they are on the outs. But with the door held wide open for you, they have a way back in. In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in.

Prayer:  Lord, thank you for helping me better understand your heart for Israel.  Thank you for opening a door for me, so I may experience friendship with you.  I pray for the salvation and peace of Israel—your oldest friends.  Bring them into your house, Lord.  Fill your kingdom. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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