Monday, June 1, 2009

Devotion - Irrevocable

Good Monday morning to you. I hope you are expecting and looking for good things to happen today. We are picking up where we had left off, with the condition of Israel, Romans 11.

We have already had it explained to us that Israel's heart was hardened in order that we non-Jews (Gentiles) might be saved by accepting Jesus. Having already discussed this point we will move on to the second point in this:

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. v. 25

The hardening is only temporary until everyone God had foreknowledge of being saved is saved. Then there will be a change and we will begin to see a great movement to the cross by the Jews. Then we will see some incredible things. We can't afford to be conceited because we will see a depth of relationship we can only dream of. There will be such a richness that will flow out of the Jews producing things beyond our own imagining. Our relationship with the Father will be revealed as weak in comparison but that will only provoke us to pursue a greater relationship; so it is all good.

The Jews are different from us because their calling has a different depth. Our calling comes with little history of relationship but the Jews have a long history with God:

As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. vv. 28-29

Even if they totally rejected God, our God is bound to them by his love for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were far from perfect people but it was through them that the promise had been given. That doesn't change. It is good to point out here that both God's gifts and his call are irrevocable.

This irrevocable call and gifts is important for us to understand. Once God gives something he is not about to give it back. I remember being taught that if I did not use my gifts I would lose my gifts. I can't believe I fell for that. God has given me gifts but whether I use them or not they are mine, a gift from the Father.

I once tried to get out of God's call. I was tired and just wanted to get away from pastoring. I moved to the country, took up photography and tried to hide. As far as I was concerned I had given up on that call; but just because I had given up does not mean that it had been taken from me. After a year God re-awakened that call in me and I was back to doing the one thing that gives me joy every day.

God has called the Jews to be his representatives to the world, but they did not want that calling; but just because they didn't want it does not mean it is no longer theirs. Although the Father changed things when he started the Church, bringing the gentiles into the same calling with the Jews, it will still be the Jews who will take they lead in this and will show us how it should be done properly. The important thing in this is to remember we cannot void the call of God. That goes for everything, including the specific role we have been given to play in this drama of life.

You may have been in rebellion for the last fifty years but when you turn back to the Lord you will find yourself back in the position you were called to. What God has given he does not take away, until that final day of accountability. So is there anything you have been avoiding, anything you had set aside, anything that still tugs on you? Allow the Father to renew it in you, to empower you again, to fill you with the joy of complete obedience and surrender in every area of your life. Bless those who you were meant to bless by your call. It is irrevocable, just as the Jews will yet prove to be a great blessing to all of us.

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