Kindness and Grace Extended

If the wild olive branches were grafted in, which is contrary to nature, it’s even more likely that the cultivated branches would be grafted in to their own olive tree (Romans 11:24 by Frank Ball).

Romans 11 by Frank Ball
In your Bible Romans 11

Paul wanted the Jews to be jealous of his evangelism and hear the Good News. He warns that few Israelites have received Christ Jesus. Sadly that remains the same today.

Call Still Offered

Isaiah prophesied about the time when Jesus would come to Jerusalem . . . And then I will keep my covenant with them and take away their sins (Romans 11:27 New Living Translation).

God hasn’t withdrawn his call for them [Jews seeking God] to believe and receive his gift of salvation . . . God has allowed everyone to live in disobedience so they could see the error of their ways and receive his mercy (Romans 11:29,32 by Frank Ball).

Remain in Christ

Believers are warned that there is a cost to pay for straying. Those in Christ must stay close, listen to his voice, obey his teachings and do as he told us to do.vine

Pay attention to both the kindness and the judgment of God. Remain in his kindness to avoid being cut off. If those discarded branches were to turn from their unbelief, God is able to graft them back onto the tree (Romans 11:22,23 by Frank Ball).Paul ends with a statement for meditation:

… Everything we have, everything we are, and everything we do is because of him. He gets all the credit forever. We can’t praise him enough or do enough to equal what he has done for us, that is for sure(Romans 11:36 by Frank Ball).

Prayer: Father, I know your love and salvation through Jesus. Thank you for allowing me to be grafted in to the true vine.

Questions: How do you reconcile the Salvation God provides with the judgment in store for those not receiving Jesus his Son? What do you think when you realize for centuries many Jews have missed knowing Jesus?

A Command – An Invitation

“As he walked along, he saw a tax collector, Matthew, son of Alphaeus, also called Levi, sitting at a place where people pay taxes. ‘Follow me,’ Jesus said” (Eyewitness Matthew 9:10).

Eyewitness: p. 56
In Your Bible: Matthew 9:9,10

Command

The word “command” implies to direct, instruct, give an order, or imposition of a task, duty, or responsibility. Jesus speaks to us as well as The Twelve he started with. He speaks to mankind with a command – he doesn’t need to plead. He’s gentle, meek, yet God all powerful and incarnate. Why do we balk and take so long to grasp this?

Many who encountered Jesus became followers. The first Twelve got hands-on training and teaching, saw miracles, and observed people receive God’s compassion.

God did this in the Old Testament times – He commanded the creation process (Genesis 1:1-31). But he did not live among them and teach them daily face to face. He used Abraham, Isaac, Joshua, and King David to list a few. God taught his Law, statutes, and expectations on how to live, do good and confront evil.

Living for God – Kingdom Living – is a theme Jesus dwells on throughout the Gospels. We may claim we cannot understand it. But more often we just don’t want to exchange our culture – what we’re doing – for Kingdom Living. It takes time for the concept to sink into our spirit and allow our thinking to be spiritually focused/Bible focused.

Jesus Dining With Matthew


Jesus told the Pharisees and teachers of the Law truth but they didn’t understand it. When they saw Jesus eat with Matthew and outcasts, they were sure he made a mistake. They observed his teaching and living, they knew he was a righteous man. They asked his disciples, “Why does he eat with such people?” (Eyewitness Matthew 9:11).

Even though what the Pharisees and teachers said wasn’t spoken to him, Jesus heard it. He replied to them, go learn what the prophet [Hosea] said, “I wanted to show you love, not make sacrifices–to know God, not make burnt offerings.” He goes on to say, “I have not come to invite repentance to those who think they are righteous. I have come for those who know they are sinners” (Hosea 6:6).

Jesus speaks to everyone, but when minds are closed, only the heart can be reached – through the Spirit of God. The searing truth remains, God’s love can overcome any barrier.

Application: We must understand our culture is not an excuse to sin. As followers of Jesus we must reach for the Kingdom of God in righteous living – Kingdom Living. Yes, you belong to Jesus……Live for him.

Prayer: Father, thank you for providing a way to remove my sin, stay close to you by your love through Jesus – then begin Kingdom Lifestyle. I want to obey and follow you.