Passage: Romans 11:11–11:24
In his letter to the churches in Rome, the apostle Paul expressed his sorrow at how the Israelites--his own people--had, for the most part, refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah. He wondered what God's plan is for his covenant people. However, he did not give up on the Israelites, because he was secure in the knowledge that God did not, has not, and never will give up on his chosen people. He also warned the Christians in Rome that they should never become arrogant in their faith, as if they deseved God's favour for one reason or another. Pride and self-righteousness would have earned them God's wrath, not his favour. Instead, Paul told the Romans to live their lives in gratitude for God's grace to them--to live in such a way as to inspire others by their example to come to God.
Some of us today may be in a similar situation as Paul was. We may not be worried about an entire nation, as Paul was worried about the Israelites, but we may be worried for friends and family members who have wandered away from the faith. Paul's message is for us, as well as for the churches in ancient Rome. We should never despair of God's grace, and we should never look down our noses at those who are not in the church. Instead, we should live our lives in gratitude for God's grace for us, and we should serve others, just as Jesus did. If we do that, we can inspire others by our example to come (back) to God.
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