Thursday, January 13, 2011

Romans 9

27And Isaiah calls out (solemnly cries aloud) over Israel: Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant (a small part of them) will be saved [from perdition, condemnation, judgment]!...Whereas Israel, though ever in pursuit of a law [for the securing] of righteousness (right standing with God), actually did not succeed in fulfilling the Law.  For what reason? Because [they pursued it] not through faith, relying [instead] on the merit of their works [they did not depend on faith but on what they could do]. They have stumbled over the Stumbling Stone.

What a shame that many Jewish people feel they are safe from eternal damnation due to their heritage alone.  Even though their numbers are great, only that small portion will be saved.  The non-Jewish folk are not much different, counting on the many paths to God or that they are good persons or that a truly good God would not do such a thing.  Problem with all of that is it diametrically opposed to what God's Word says.  (God is good; but He is a great deal more than just good...and that fact complicates the playing out of His goodness)

Additionally, Israel was "ever in pursuit of a law to secure righteousness" was disqualified for the benefits of said law because they depended on their performance and standing; not faith, which was the requirement.  Thus they tripped themselves up on the Stumbling Stone.

I see that I am like Israel (or "Is really" because often the description of her is really like me).  I am saved from hell because of God's grace extended to me...but am I taking the trouble of making my countrymen/women know aware of the "Grace-Factor" rather than let them just assume their "good" selves right on to hell?  How effectively and regularly do I communicate God's multi-faceted majesty to my neighbors?

The second portion of scripture describes so much:  ever in pursuit of...  That exhausts me just thinking about it.  The works angle does require that "ever in pursuit of" lifestyle.  But, apart from God, everything demands the "ever in pursuit of" manner of living.  Nothing satisfies, nothing fulfills, nothing scratches the itch custom designed by God for Him to reach.  Relentless striving, daily subjugation, personal denial, constant consuming, more and more or less and less...Doesn't matter because God is the One and Only Answer...we know, as He designed the need.

The Stumbling Stone is part of the design.  Jesus is supposed to be a point of knocking people off-balance or to topple them.  When one topples, one falls...let me fall on Jesus.  Let me live transparently enough to demonstrate that sweet act of grace extended to me.

God is challenging me with the lack of my evangelical efforts in my life...102 people die each minute.  How many have died in the time it has taken me to type this? How many have perished without hope?  In deception as to their destination...or who have never even considered life beyond this...

Help me Father to share the knowledge and experience of Your saving grace in my life with others.  Help me, too, to not encourage the "in pursuit of" life apart from the "in pursuit of You".  You are enough, You are my Shield and my Song, You are my Very Great Reward, You are my Rock and my Salvation.  Let others see me fall headlong onto and into You...daily.

1 comment:

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