Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Tuesday

Read: Romans 11:13-29 and Psalm 87

St. Paul compares the Kingdom to an olive tree. God cut off the natural branches, that is, the Jews, and then grafted in wild branches (the Gentiles). But we don’t rest on our laurels, because if God can graft in wild branches, he can graft the natural ones back in as well.

And then, the very last verse catches our attention: “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” While this may have application to us personally, the main emphasis is in relation to the Jews. God has given them the gift of being his people, and he has called them to be his children. God will not repent (change his mind) from that decision.

Some will see this as proof of predestination, that the Jews are all predestined to heaven. As Methodists, however, we do recognize that everyone has the free will to choose God or reject him. But while individual Jews may choose to reject God, God does have a plan for the nation as a whole, and has invited them to be a part of the Kingdom.

This is one passage that may have little personal application. It is still important. St. Paul does write that we should not swell up in pride that God has chosen to graft in Gentiles, because he can cut us right back off again if he chooses. Take a moment to examine yourself for pride, and to ask God’s forgiveness. Write your own prayer.

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