Empty Cross Ministries daily Devotional 25 Feb 2021 Equal Opportunity!

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Empty Cross Ministries

Daily Devotional

February 25, 2021

Daily Devotion in Romans 11

Equal Opportunity!

Throughout the Old Testament, God often dealt with Israel in different ways. The Lord has a special place in His heart for them. He had great plans for those people.

Although they rebelled against Him, disobeyed His commands, or got far away from the heavenly Father, God was very patient with the Jews.  He continued giving them chances and opportunities to return to fellowship with Him; sometimes they did, often they did not. Sometimes God sent trials and tribulations in an attempt to turn them back to Him. At times the Jews were spiritually asleep (Romans 11:8), blinded spiritually (Romans 11:9), spiritually “stumbled” (Romans 11:11), and did not believe (Romans 11:20).

When the Messiah, Jesus, did come, they rejected Him and even persecuted those who accepted the Saviour. Because they rejected Jesus, God gave the opportunity to be saved to the Gentiles also. A converted Jew, Paul, was even given the ministry to reach non-Jews with the Gospel. The Jew’s rejection of Christ was an opportunity for Gentiles to have a close relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

In Old Testament times, Gentiles could not participate in temple worship. They were “strangers” that could never go into the Temple. However, they were permitted to have some involvement in worshiping God. Now Gentiles, when they accept Christ as Saviour, are no longer “strangers.” Although worship has changed since Old Testament times, we can now go boldly to the Lord’s throne, as can any saved person — be they Jew or Gentile.

In this chapter, there is a warning that what happened to the Jews can also happen to all who reject the Saviour. The warning is, “For if God spared not the natural branches [the Jews], take heed, lest he also spare not thee.” (Romans 11:21). He spared not the Jews because of their unbelief and will not spare anyone else because of unbelief in Christ (Romans 11:20, 23).

Today’s Thought:
“Jesus is an equal opportunity Saviour.” — Barbara BrinkworthWords to Understand:
Graff:  the horticultural practice of getting a branch of another tree to grow on to a root or trunk of another tree
Intercession: praying on behalf of another
Recompence: an equivalent payment; repaying
Reconciling: restoring a relationship

                    Romans 11
1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying,
3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.
4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them:
10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway.
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?
25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.
29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
33 ¶ O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

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