Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God the Source of Wisdom

“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” (11:35) (Paul quoting Job 41:11)
          In Romans 11 Paul begins to reveal some of the mysteries of God’s mercies and the gift of salvation to his Gentile (not Jewish) audience. Most of us reading today are also Gentiles and so the lessons we learn from this passage are pertinent to how we live as Christians today,
God had first revealed himself to the Jewish people or the nation of Israel but the true work of God became a stumbling block for many Jews (vs 9). The Jews never lived to complete obedience, they failed to be the light of the world, and thus it set the stage for the Lord to use their disobedience to show mercy unto the entire world by sending his son Jesus to perfectly obey and be the light Israel never was. His life, death, resurrection, and ascension made it clear to the entire world that the Christian God is the God of all and we live into His kingdom by Grace, not by works or perfect obedience, and therefore we can receive salvation for eternity through that same mercy. 
          Jesus did not ascend back to his father without first commissioning us who believe to be the light of the world and sending the Holy Spirit to be our helper in this task. Paul exhorts us not to be arrogant about our salvation and God’s mercy to us but to live out our responsibility as Christians which is to recognize that God is the source and root of true life and to graft in or bring in all people who do not know Jesus to His saving knowledge just as we have been grafted in by his great mercy. Our commission includes reaching the original Israel who God chose to always be a part of His Kingdom but many of whom rejected God and now must be grafted back into the life they were naturally intended to live.
           Paul spends much of this passage explaining that many of these Jews will be saved and what that may look like. However, at the end he exhorts us Christians to simply do our Job to be “lighted to Lighten” to the whole world. We see that Paul does not say to only be a light to our mother nation or our own race, but to all. Thus, though it is important to implore the mysterious of God’s judgments and mysterious as evidenced by Paul informing us of these mysteries in an entire chapter he ends by suggesting not to focus on figuring out how God’s Judgment works because we don’t need to know all those details to do our job nor does God owe that explanation to us, in fact he owes us nothing yet gives so much freely! Instead let our focus be the work of being the light which will overflow from our joy of the free undeserved gift of salvation. If we truly are living into this gift we would not want to do anything but live right because it will be clear that it’s the best (though difficult) life and nothing else would make sense for us.

Prayer: Jesus I ask that you would teach us to walk further into your grace each day by boldly living for you in the everyday ordinary situations of each day. As we pursue you faithfully let us do so with confidence, without the fear and guilt of our blunders holding us back along the way, and thereby mold us into the lights in this world that you’ve commissioned us to be. Amen
Thought for the Day:  Wisdom is a free gift from God

Jebin Yohannan, St. Andrew’s M T C, NY.