Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach me how to tell others about your Love and Grace through your Word. Amen.
29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
I like the devotion writer’s suggestions; “Look up. Don’t worry about getting everything right. Breathe. Have fun.” These were also her horse riding instructor gave her. They seem well worth appreciating in our walk of faith. She writes; “As I rode around the arena, I began to appreciate the lack of destination. The adventure was the thrill of the ride.”
These are good words to consider. God’s time is not our time. I included the entire text today rather than just a few verses because if you take the time to read it, Paul is talking about how the Jews are still God’s chosen. He will still turn their hearts and they will not all perish. He now has called the Gentiles like you and I and His call is permanent. He made a covenant with His people and with us. He will not break it. So we don’t have to worry so much about what we are doing. Focus on the ride not on the destination. Have fun, enjoy the ride.
Our devotion writer also thinks we probably spend too much time worrying about what God is calling us to do, or to be. “Will we ever arrive at the destination God intends? Are we getting everything right along the way?”
These are good words for me today. Since I recently retired, I have been trying to see what I am going to do next. I have been asking God for direction and so far little has actually jumped up and grabbed me. Again our devotion writer explains; “The irrevocable, unrelenting call is to proceed on the journey and not to worry about the destination. God will take care of the goals and plans and the destinations.”
Show mercy to those we meet along the way “Have fun! Enjoy the ride.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Israel’s Rejection Is Not Final
11 I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars; I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” 4 But what is the divine reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 5 So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace would no longer be grace.
7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written,
“God gave them a sluggish spirit, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”
9 And David says,
“Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them; 10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see, and keep their backs forever bent.”
The Salvation of the Gentiles
11 So I ask, have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their stumbling salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their stumbling means riches for the world, and if their defeat means riches for Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I glorify my ministry 14 in order to make my own people jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead! 16 If the part of the dough offered as first fruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; and if the root is holy, then the branches also are holy.
17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the rich root of the olive tree, 18 do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember that it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 You will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And even those of Israel, if they do not persist in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.
All Israel Will Be Saved
25 So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,
“Out of Zion will come the Deliverer; he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.” 27 “And this is my covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”
28 As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; 29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32 For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.