The First 15

Monday August 2, 2021

by First Methodist Mansfield

Opening Prayer

God, I am here to go deeper and learn from You. Come Holy Spirit, speak to my heart and mind in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Romans 11:11-24

Ingrafted Branches
Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!


Grafting is Amazing

Most gardeners know how to graft one tree onto another. Grafting is amazing. A gardener can pick up a broken branch from one variety of apple tree, make careful surgery-like incisions and graft the branch onto another variety. The wound is bound and the healed branch bears fruit within three years. Amazing.

Just like a fruit tree, you are grafted in. The Master Gardener lifts you from the ground in all your brokenness and masterfully grafts you into the family tree. You could lie there forever cut off from life, but your wounds are bandaged and your brokenness heals. You become strong and produce fruit in season.

Because of Jesus you are adopted into the family and have the support of a strong foundation. The Bible says, “You do not support the root, but the root supports you” (Romans 11:18). You receive all the nourishment you need for life. You “have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root” (Romans 11:17).

It is easy to forget our humble position grafted onto the tree of God. We shouldn’t take this for granted, but live a life of thankfulness for our salvation. Paul warns us to “not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches” (Romans 11:18). Do not boast, do not be proud, “do not be arrogant, but tremble” (Romans 11:20). Grafting is amazing. Grace is amazing.


Reflect on a time when you forgot the amazing truth of your salvation in Jesus Christ. How were you reminded of God’s grace for you?

How does your recognition of God’s amazing grace inspire you to treat others?

Closing Prayer

Thank you God. Go with me through my day. Walk with me, talk with me, show me how to live life in your love. Amen.

The First 15

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