Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
1 I speak the truth in Christ— I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
It good to slow down and just look at whom Paul is talking about here in this passage. In verse 4-5 Paul is talking about his own people, the people of Israel, people of his ethnicity. These we’re not just any people… they were the chosen people of God. Notice the privileges they had:
- The adoption as sons—It was God who said: I will make you my people… it was God who moved!
- The divine glory—They were the ones who saw the visible presence of God as he made his presence known as the cloud descended on the tabernacle.
- The covenants—Mosaic covenants; think about the covenants made with Noah, Abraham, Israel, and David.
- Receiving the law—Alluding to Israel’s experience at Mount Sinai and indicating Israel’s role in the preservation and transmission of Scripture.
- The temple worship—Israel’s responsibility for the temple’s sacrificial system
- The promises—redemption and restoration associated with the Messiah.
And as wonderful as these privileges are there was still one even greater—the Messiah, the Savior, is an Israelite as far as His human descent is concerned, though He is also the Sovereign of the universe—he is God over all!
And yet, these people with amazing privileges for the most part would reject Paul’s message. One can only think that Paul’s aguish is even more poignant because of Israel’s unique privileges.
It’s easy to look at this and say: Man, how could they miss that? But if we’re honest the truth is, people can say the same thing about us! There are many days I get to going about my day and fail to recognize the unique privilege I have in being a Christ-follower.
You and I should take time to write down our privileges, I think it would be a helpful exercise.
For today, lets just commit to take some time and think about this privilege: Our inheritance in Christ.
- Our inheritance in Christ is imperishable (1 Peter 1:23).
- Our inheritance in Christ is unspoiled (Heb. 7:26)
- Our inheritance is unfading (Rev. 21:5)
- Our inheritance is secure (2 Cor. 1:22)
What does this reality mean for you today? How might you live that truth out as you go about your day?
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.