The First 15

Tuesday July 27, 2021

by Amanda Hardeman

Opening Prayer

<strong>“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”</strong>

Scripture Reading

Romans 9:30-33

Israel’s Unbelief
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written:

“See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble

and a rock that makes them fall,

and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”


During the early season of the pandemic, my family discovered that we like to go hiking. Before trying it out I thought hiking was just “walking in the woods” and I was terrified of taking “challenging trails” because I thought those were for real hikers, not just casual hikers. Fast forward a year and several months later, and challenging trails are my favorite. What I assumed would be a challenge like extreme rock climbing was actually just rocky and uneven terrain. I have been on some challenging trails that look super simple, but you have to watch each and every step you take because the path is uneven and unpredictable. Just because the trail is short does not make it easy.

The same goes with our lives. Simple pathways have stumbling opportunities. The people of Israel were not only faithful but deeply committed to trusting God. They saw their obedience to the law as an act of deep faith and trust. Its easy to sit back now and see how the Isrealites missed the whole point, but it is so much more complex than that. They lived in the truth that they felt in the moment and not the truth that was set out before them. Many times in our lives people could have stepped back and said we missed the whole point. We stumbled living in our own truth. We didn’t see the big picture. This passage tells us to obtain righteousness by faith and not by law. With each step we take we should place our trust in him.

How have you been stumbling lately?

How does this scripture speak to you today?

Closing Prayer

Lord, these are your words. This is our story. Help me live in a way that honors you today and everyday. Amen.

The First 15

Sign up to receive an email notification whenever a new devotional is posted to The First 15.