Are you not glad that God is greater than our ability to fully understand Him? My heart rejoices that He is so magnificent, so incredible...and yet continually desires to hang with me. The passage this morning offers the most wonderful truth: "the gift and the calling are without repentance." I don't have to be right to receive Him. Praise God for that! In fact, it is not about works at all. Remember His words: Jacob have I loved; Esau have I hated. God is speaking of their 'way of life' not their souls. The life of Jacob came by His promise; the life of Esau began with human striving. We prefer to do because that puts us in control. In control is not the right place for me to be :)!
As you look over your past, can you see the times you were certain you were right? Times you stood on what you knew and proclaimed your own righteousness, trusting yourself to know what was best (usually for others as well as yourself)? I can. And I rejoice in His mercy that worked in me, around me and through me even when I was wrong! He blesses and He calls even when we fail. He is doing the same in the lives of others. I love that about God!
|When you cannot trace God's hand, trust His heart!|
There's more to this amazing reality, though. Not only is He loving in our failures, He is using them for the good of all! The passage this morning talks of how the rejection of the gospel by the nation of Israel opened the door of mercy to gentiles. What a debt we owe to those who are lost in the dark! Those in captivity to unbelief are a tool of God in our own lives. We have the immense privilege of being His tool in theirs by sharing His mercy.
God has not written anyone off...He is opening a door for us to love as He loves us.
There is immense beauty in what appears to be a tangle: God pours His love out on a rebellious people; its overflow transforms others who then pour out love that it may return to God. I get excited when I think about that. I do not always understand what God is doing; I do not always know the right thing to do. And then I remember: all He asks is that I believe. He is able. He is at work. Thy will be done, Lord, for it is loving and perfect!