My son received the number one item on his “I Want That…” list for his birthday. And this gift has become a fabulous discipline tool. When he is disobedient, the first consequence is often not getting to use his gift. You would think that because he loves it so much, he would be quick to obey. But that’s not always the case. And how does he respond when the gift is taken away? Crocodile tears and anger bubble up because he’s so passionate about playing with it.
On occasion, after the consequence is implemented, he pulls out the grace card with tears in his eyes: “Mommy, I thought you were going to give me grace…” Who knew that past teachable moments about grace could become bargaining chips for no consequences in the future? While the answer is typically “no grace this time,” I am thankful he understands the concept of grace.
God extends grace by giving us things we don’t deserve… like eternal life, instead of eternal separation from Him, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Today’s Romans reading teaches us about God’s grace. Read Romans 11:1-10.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
- Read Romans 11:1-6.
- What do you learn about God’s character in these verses?
- What do you learn about God’s grace in these verses? (Check Romans 11:5-6 for the answer).
- Review the following verses about God’s grace: Romans 5:15, Romans 5:17, Romans 5:20-21, Romans 6:1-2, and Romans 6:14-16. How would you describe God’s grace?
- Read Romans 11:7-10.
- What do we learn about the Israelites from these verses?
- The Gospel of John talks about the unbelief of the Israelites too. Read John 12:37:43.
- What did Isaiah predict and how did it come true? (John 12:37-41)
- What caused some who did believe in Jesus to keep quiet? (John 12:42-43)
- Reflect on John 12:42-43. Can you relate to these verses? If so, ask your Father God to help you be strong and brave, to not be terrified and to not lose hope, for He is the Lord your God and He is with you everywhere you go (Joshua 1:9). And ask God to give you courage to share the Good News with boldness.
- Read Acts 28:17-31.
- How are these verses related to Romans 11:7-10 and John 12:42-43.
- How did Paul try to persuade the Jewish leaders that Jesus was the Messiah? (Acts 28:23)
- What was the response to Paul’s persuasion efforts? (Acts 28:24)
- What was Paul’s final word to the Jewish leaders? (Acts 28:25-28)
- What can you learn from Paul’s approach to sharing the Gospel?
Today’s song provides a great wrap-up for our Romans reading. Maybe you’re wrestling with God right now. Maybe you’re carrying a burden of guilt or shame and feeling like you’re beyond the reach of God. Maybe you need the reminder from Romans 8 that the powerful Holy Spirit lives inside you. Or maybe you need to remember Who God is. You Are I Am by Mercy Me touches on these things and more. Be encouraged by Romans 8:38-39:
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You. Are. Loved.