Thursday July 22, 2021
“Lord, help me to pause, help me to focus, help me to receive your word in a way that makes an impact on my day. Amen”
Paul’s Anguish Over Israel
I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
I was blessed by God to be born into a family of faith. My parents were devout in their faith, living it out before me. They raised me in the church and I was taught the scriptures, the creeds and the history of the faith. As great a blessing as this was, I soon realized it was not enough.
And so it was with the Israelites. Paul knew that the people of Israel had been chosen, adopted by God and blessed by their birth. They had intimate knowledge of the prophets, the Law and the very knowledge of God who was to be worshipped. But it wasn’t enough. In spite of all this, they still did not recognize Christ, nor did they accept the way to eternal and abundant life.
What can we learn from this? I think our faith must be a personal faith, an individual choice to accept the mercy and grace of God in Jesus the Christ. As one put it, “ God has no grandchildren.” It is necessary that we choose for ourselves or miss out on the eternal blessing of an abundant, eternal relationship with our God.
Is your faith a personal choice? Have you chosen your faith or is it inherited?
Dear Lord, I accept your grace and mercy for myself. I believe and I trust that I am yours and you are mine. In Christ’s name, Amen.
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