Friday, May 15, 2015

A Survivor’s Thoughts

YES! We have made it to the end of the week it's FRIDAY! so let's take a moment to reflect on this. Read: Romans 9:1-5 Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 22-23; John 4:31-54 I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren. —Romans 9:3 After a 71-year-old South Korean woman was rescued during the tragic sinking of a ferry boat, she struggled with survivor’s guilt. From her hospital bed she said she couldn’t understand how it could be right for her to have lived through an accident that had taken the lives of many who were so much younger. She also regretted not knowing the name of the young man who had pulled her out of the water after she had given up hope. Then she added, “I want to buy him a meal at least, or hold his hand, or give him a hug.” This woman’s heart for others reminds me of the apostle Paul. He was so concerned about his neighbors and countrymen that he said he wished he could trade his own relationship with Christ for their rescue: “I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren” (Rom. 9:2-3). Paul also expressed a deep sense of personal gratitude. He knew he didn’t understand the ways and judgments of God (see vv.14-24). So while doing everything he could to proclaim the gospel to all, he found peace and joy in trusting the heart of a God who loves the whole world so much more than we ever could. —Mart DeHaan Lord God, Your ways are so far beyond our comprehension, yet we know without doubt that You love us. Help us trust Your loving heart with the things we don’t understand. Gratitude to God leads to growth in godliness. INSIGHT: Even though Paul was “an apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom. 11:13; Gal. 2:8), his heart’s desire was to see his own people—the Jews—come to faith in Jesus (Rom. 9:2-3). In Romans 9–11 Paul discussed the continuing unbelief of the Jews, but he assured them that they had not been rejected. He reminded them of their privileged status (v. 4), and the climax of these privileges is that the Messiah—the Savior—is Himself a Jew (v. 5).

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