Stand fast, not proud but fearing

Today we are reading from Romans 11:11-24.



I have to admit, I am not sure what to say in regards to these next verses: 
11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
It sounds like if I read it well, that God allowed people to stumble so he could show his grace to them, and through their salvation make the peoples of Israel jealous.  And if Israel is jealous then... SOME of them might be saved!   

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Think about that...stumbling...to grace..to salvation...to jealousy...to salvation.
God using weak vessels to change the hearts of other weak vessels.
Paul, working among the Gentiles, to the end that some Israelites might be saved.  Wanting the Gentiles to be saved, but also wanting to use their salvation to make the Israelites jealous so that they too might be saved.   He wants his people to have life! 

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 
A picture is painted here.   Do you see it?   Don't be proud of your salvation, don't lord it over others.  Just don't go there!   God made the choice don't you see?  HE is the one that made you part of his family.   And think on this...he rejected part of his original line. Don't you think he can't root out those who don't truly belong to him?   Pride has no place here.  Just thankfulness to the one who supports and grows the tree that comes from HIS roots.

 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.
God's severity - cutting off those that have fallen away from him.
God's kindness - to those who remain with him.
AND keeping in mind that God can always graft back into his family those who turn to him.  Don't you think God will always make that choice, to take back in those with whom he started?   
God wants all his people.
And all his people should be grateful for the choice he made to call them, to create a seeking people that will turn to him and want to know him.  


 I don't know about you but these words are convicting.   There are times when my Dutch background comes out of me.. proud of my heritage as a dutch person as well as being a dutch based believer..and then here, here I am caught up and reminded of something very very important.  IT'S NOT ME!  It's not my heritage.  It's all God.  His choice to graft me into his family.   My family didn't do that for me.  My heritage didn't do that for me.  It was all God.  NOTHING else.  No room for pride or one-up-manship.  I'm not better than any other believer OR non-believer out there.   I have just as much need for God's continued grace and kindness in my life as do my neighbours.  I really truly do.

What say you?   Do these verses convict you?

Follow along in my Romans Series.

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4 comments

  1. What powerful words! The first thing that struck me was the idea that rather than directly dealing with someone to change their heart towards God, it can be just as effective to let them watch you turn your own heart, and the hearts of your children. Then they will think to themselves, "Why is she so happy and content? I would like to live as she does." Kind of showing by example. It might be the same kind of phenomenon as when you go to the bookstore and look at a book on the shelf and end up drawing a crowd. People are innately curious about each other I think, unless they are full of pride. BTW, I love your phrase, "God using weak vessels to change the hearts of other weak vessels" Wonderful!!! (and the changes you made to your pictures and photos are really great, too!)

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    1. thank you. I like how you put that..how our example can make someone else wonder about what we believe.

      I'm glad you like the images I use...it's all a process eh?

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  2. Great focus on God and HIS actions in this post. God changes us.

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    1. Oh he does, I'm so often humbled

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