Today’s Assignment ~ Make sure that you have your prayer journal with you as you complete each day’s reading. You are going to want to keep track of the verses that are resonating with you, as you read.
1. If you have not already done so, answer the questions in this blog-post;
If you have answered them…review your answers prior to reading today’s assignment.
2. Say a prayer asking God to reveal Himself to you through His word.
3. Read Romans 9-11 and as you read, highlight verses that are speaking to your heart and reflect on these questions…
• What is the main point of this portion?
• What does God – Father, Son or Holy Spirit – reveal of himself?
• What insight am I given into myself and into my life situation? Is there an example of a warning to heed? A promise to claim?
• What does Christ require of me now, in thought, word or action?
A reflection on today’s reading…
16 “And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their descendants will also be holy—just as the entire batch of dough is holy because the portion given as an offering is holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy, the branches will be, too.
17 But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree—some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God’s special olive tree. 18 But you must not brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. You are just a branch, not the root.
19 “Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” 20 Yes, but remember—those branches were broken off because they didn’t believe in Christ, and you are there because you do believe. So don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. 21 For if God did not spare the original branches, he won’t spare you either.
22 Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. 23 And if the people of Israel turn from their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, for God has the power to graft them back into the tree. 24 You, by nature, were a branch cut from a wild olive tree. So if God was willing to do something contrary to nature by grafting you into his cultivated tree, he will be far more eager to graft the original branches back into the tree where they belong.”
These three chapters in Romans help us to learn how to act toward others with whom we may have differences. The Jews were God’s chosen people, and yet many of them did and do deny His Son, Jesus. Because of their unbelief, God granted mercy to the gentiles who do have faith in Jesus.
In an attempt to better understand these chapters I did some research and found some expository writings on the book of Romans and specifically these three chapters. They were written by Warren E. Berkley & Jon W. Quinn, and this is a short excerpt from what I read…along with a link to read it for yourself.
“The converted Jews needed help from apostolic authority in dealing with their countrymen who were still unconverted. They would have friends and family still involved in Judaism. To help them meet this challenge, Paul wrote about the change from the old to the new in this section. I believe we can presume, faithful Christians of Jewish background would use truth taught by Paul to instruct and help their friends who remained in Judaism.
The Gentile converts needed to be warned about their attitude toward the Jews. It is tempting to think of this, just as a problem on the Jewish side of the issues. Yet, anytime there is any tension between two groups, both are tempted to react with anger, coldness, and unreasonable contempt. This is a third problem addressed by this section of Romans.”
There are things that I need to reflect on from what I read this morning both in my bible and in the link above. It is amazing to me how each time I read through the New Testament something new comes into the forefront of my mind. I specifically remember that the last read through, during our chronological reading of the New Testament, I was struck by and could relate to Paul’s anguish over Israel. (Romans 9: 1- 5) This time Romans 11:16-24 is what jumped off the pages at me. Time for some reflection and meditation. Happy Saturday, friends!