Tuesday August 3, 2021
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.
All Israel Will Be Saved
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
“The deliverer will come from Zion;
he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.
And this is my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
Before receiving Holy Communion, Methodists pray prayers of confession together. We ask God, “Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience through Jesus Christ our Lord” (UMH p. 12). On days when I am painfully aware of my sins and shortcomings, I find myself praying that prayer to God. “Forgive me, I pray. Free me for joyful obedience through Jesus Christ my Lord.” I long for God’s gift of joyful obedience.
Sin captures and ensnares us. Disobedience restrains and imprisons us. We say we are “trapped in a web of lies,” “bound in addiction,” or “slaves to sin.” God understands humanity’s fate. Paul reminds us that everyone is “bound over in disobedience” (Romans 11:32). Our prison is a result of the sin of the first humans Adam and Eve and what is called the Fall of Humanity.
We are all bound in disobedience. Yet God is a God of abundant mercy. Paul completes his sentence (Romans 11:32) “For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all”. God’s mercy is for all people. For you. For me. In His mercy, God sent his Son Jesus to proclaim release to the captives and set the prisoners free. We are freed for joyful obedience.
Reflect on places of disobedience or sin in your life and name these before God. Ask God, “Forgive me, I pray. Free me for joyful obedience through Jesus Christ my Lord.”
Receive these words of mercy, let them wash over you, “In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!”
Thank you, God, for your abundant mercy and amazing grace. Thank you for your Son Jesus, whose blood was shed so that my sins can be forgiven, even mine. Amen.
The First 15
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