This is a two part devotional.
Patience, Faith, and Pressing toward the Mark
Last week we looked at the definition of patience. Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset: quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence:.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) Chicago fans have been patient and hoping for the Cubs to win the World Series.
So Wednesday night history was made. The Chicago Cubs and their fans are celebrating their first World Series win in 108 years. They showed their “steady perseverance, even-tempered care and diligence” in the win.
We as believers in Christ must have the same mindset as the Cubs. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
That is our goal.
Chapter 9 of Romans deals with three misunderstandings of the Romans. Paul corrects each of these misunderstandings. Paul is concerned that his people, Israel, who had the promises of God completely, missed the meaning. He did not want them to miss their Messiah.
Paul addresses the common, erroneous misunderstandings and objections for why God has not fulfilled His program and purpose with Israel (9:6-29)
3rd Anticipated misunderstanding (9:19-29)
Paul now anticipates this objection: If this is all true, then why does
God still find fault and not go ahead and fulfill His program with Israel?
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?25 As he saith also in Hosea, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.27 Isaiah also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.29 And as Isaiah said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodom, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
For who has resisted His will and prevented Him from showing His mercy and graciousness, etc.? No one has. But, as Paul declares, no one has the right to dispute with God about what He is doing, or how long it takes, etc.
Israel seems not to recognize that God is all knowing, powerful, and ever present. They also seem to have forgotten their rejection of God.
What has happened then?
30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
God has turned to the Gentiles in mercy and grace in response to Israel’s stumbling over the Lord Jesus Christ.
The rejection of their Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus), was why they are not saved today. Although the Scriptures clearly teach about the Messiah, Israel refuses to acknowledge or put their faith in Him.
The Gentiles are in the same position. Many refuse to acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Pray for those who are lost. Tell them about Jesus!
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001