The First 15

Wednesday August 4, 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 11:33-36


Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments,

and his paths beyond tracing out!

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God,

that God should repay them?”

For from him and through him and for him are all things.

To him be the glory forever! Amen.



In the middle of his letter, Paul breaks out in song. The central message of his hymn is clear – God’s ways are beyond our comprehension. Up to this point in Romans, Paul has given priority to the Jewish people for salvation. The gospel is “the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16-17). God’s amazing grace extends to all people everywhere.

We cannot comprehend God’s mercy for rebellious humans like us who are bound in disobedience and sin. But that is the whole of the Gospel. Its message confounds us. It confounds Paul too. What kind of God is this? Who sends his only Son Jesus to die a horrible, shameful death upon a cross for the sins of rebellious people? Conventional wisdom cannot comprehend God’s mercy. Paul breaks out in song. He is in awe and so should we be. Sing. Praise God for his goodness and mercy.


As you reflect on your salvation in light of your disobedience and God’s mercy, reread the words of Paul’s hymn (Romans 11:33-36). Do you feel a sense of wonder and awe?

Consider someone who has led a rebellious, horrible, sinful life. Can you comprehend God’s mercy for him or her?

Closing Prayer

Almighty God, from You and through You and for You are all things. To You be the glory forever! Amen. (from Romans 11:36)

The First 15

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