Those words leaped off of the page and held on to me with the mightiest of intensity. Grabbing me and pulling me deeper into the message. A message from God penned by the Apostle Paul nearly 1960 years ago. A message of concern; a message of tremendous hope.
He had prepared it for the church at Corinth with a message as he had been traveling on his missionary journeys. Paul literally ached in the deepest pit of his soul for Israel. A nation chosen by God, who would choose to reject Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Yet as Paul writes, fully inspired by God, he provides a mighty hope for each one of us. That hope is as relevant today as it was in A.D. 57. Our hope comes through our Lord who freely offers each one of us the gift of salvation.
Romans 11:15 points out that even when God’s people have stumbled, it is never beyond recovery as long as there is still breath in our lungs. As a matter of fact, Because Israel rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah, God then made salvation available to all people. Gentiles and Jews alike. His desire was that the Jews would become jealous as they watched the Gentiles embrace God’s gift of salvation, and that they would seek it for themselves.
I can’t say God’s plan for salvation is any different today. We have been called to live as representatives of Christ Jesus for all of the world to see. We are to be the light of the world shining brightly for Jesus. We are called to live differently from the world. Yes, it often draws attention from the unbeliever. Our values, language, dreams, and appearance is different than the rest of the world. But that is when Jesus shines brightest through us. In the darkness of the world, the unsaved person sees Jesus in us, and they desire to have that same joy and light that so brightly resonates from our very soul. Our job is to make others want the God that we have. The very same message Paul penned so many lifetimes ago remains true today. Live like Jesus lived, love like Jesus loves, and lead the world to Him.
Greater still is the promise that Paul wrote in Romans 11:29, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Don’t miss this! The gifts of God…grace, mercy, and praise the Lord, Salvation are irrevocable. Once you have received the gift of salvation; God’s gift of everlasting life, you can never lose it! It is irrevocable. Nothing you can do or say can pluck you from God’s hand.
Now, don’t get too crazy here. It doesn’t mean you can go around acting like a heathen either. Just because of the gift of salvation is irrevocable doesn’t mean God won’t take you to the woodshed when you mess up. I mean really, what loving parent wouldn’t? Right! But what that does mean is, God loves you. You are adopted by Him into His holy family. You are His child, and you will spend eternity with Him in glory. Oh, and because you are His child, fully adopted into His family, when you do mess up and He has to issues consequences, He will never ever stop loving you. He will forgive your sins and here’s the best part yet! He will not hold them against you again.
Nope! He won’t bring them up at you months from now. He won’t tell you how you messed up that one time back in 1942. Nope! God loves you as His own child, adopted into His family. He heaps His mighty gifts of mercy, grace, love, forgiveness and everlasting life upon you, and then smiles because you are His. Now that’s what I call amazing grace!