Monday, March 10, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 79: Two People, Two Truths, One Need

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 79, March 9, 2014
Readings: Psalm 79, Exodus 24, Nehemiah 5, Romans 15:1-13

For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,

"Therefore I will praise your name among the Gentiles, and sing to your name."
And again it is said,
"Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people."
And again,
"Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,
and let all the peoples extol him."
And again Isaiah says,
"The root of Jesse will come,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope." (Romans 15:8-12)

Jesus came for us. The Jews. The Gentiles. The Jews were supposed to be God's shining light to the world, a people to whom other nations could look for guidance, asking, "Who is this God you serve?" But they failed to be different. They followed the ways of other nations, seeking after false gods. Jesus was their promise of deliverance. He came to fulfill God's truth.

Being a "Gentile" myself (I am not Jewish, to my knowledge) I am very aware, and grateful, for the mercy that God has shown me. I am not of the people of Israel. But in order that the world might be saved, Jesus came for me. Not just for His chosen people, but for all people. He is my hope.

Jesus came bringing truth and grace. Truth to fulfill God's promises. To make things right. To restore all things to Him. Grace to renew brokenness, to revive those removed from the lineage of Abraham. We are all His creation, and Jesus came for all of us.

And Jesus' message while He was here was just the same - a mix of grace and truth. God loves us and is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for us - but He is God. We don't get to pick and choose His attributes. We don't get to decide what's right and wrong. His grace redeems us, His truth brings restoration.

And we all have one need. To know God. To wonder at His mercy, and to embody His truth. To embrace all that He is. He doesn't want our blind obedience, a dog begging at His master's table. he also doesn't want our carelessness, reckless disrespect of the love He has shown. We can love God, because He first loved us.

How will you respond to His grace? His truth?

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