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Romans 9:1-24

Israel

In Romans 9,10,11 Paul deals with Israel - Past(9), Present (10), and Future (11).

Why?

The people reading Romans think:

'Got it. We are all sinners, all are condemned. God provides Solution - Righteousness through Faith in Christ. We become justified. Sanctification process begins through Power of the Holy Spirit and process will be completed in heaven. Once justified there will be No condemnation, and No separation.

Sounds good, but what about Israel? God made promises and covenants to them. Israel let down God often, and rejected Christ? We see no blessings in Israel - they are occupied and definately not a glorious country.

Maybe God changed His mind. Israel did not hold up their end of the bargain, maybe they have lose out. If this is true, and God changed His mind about Israel, why can't He change His mind about Salvation and us Christians?'
======================================================
Paul answers this concern beginning here in Romans 9 with Israel's past.

Who better to teach than Paul. Paul was a student of Gamaliel, a Pharisee, and knew the scriptures. Paul is now a Christian, and an apostle appointed by God, but Paul has deep roots with Israel.

Paul begins by saying he is speaking the truth, and by identifying with Israel in an intimate way. His early life was immersed in Israel and the temple. Paul would give up his Salvation if it meant Israel could be redeemed.

Whoa! It is one thing to lay down your life for someone, but to give up "eternal life", that is heavy. This lends the aura of "utter sincerity" to what Paul is about to say.
======================================================
Paul lists seven blessing of Israel:
"adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ.."

adoption as sons:
Ex 4:22
"Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son" NIV (idea being preeminent - superior to or notable above others)

Hosea 11:1
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
(God loved Israel so much he delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt - or is this what the verse means?)

Matt 2:15b
"And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." NIV (God loved Israel, His preeminent son, so much that He wanted to deliver them from bondage - but it was the bondage of Sin. To the Jew first, then the Gentile.)

Glory: could mean the Shekinah Glory, but to me it means the glory that comes from being a witness and testimony to God - like it was to Rahab.
======================================================
God's Sovereignty

Children of the Promise
God could have let things go their natural course. Ishamels's descendants included, and Esau's descendants be the line of Israel.

But God stepped in so that it could be shown that it is not by the natural order of things - "not by works but by him who calls". If God had not said, 'not this one, but him', people can say - it's a nice story, but how do we know it is God's plan. By divinely choosing out of the natural order of things - God's stamp is evident on His plan.

Some have a problem with:
"Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." How could God hate Esau, and while it is a literal translation, I am not sure it is the best contextual translation.

"Morris cites examples where hate clearly seems to mean something like “loved less” (Genesis 29:31, 33; Deuteronomy 21:15; Matthew 6:24; Luke 14:26; John 12:25). Yet he agrees with Calvin’s idea that the real thought here is much more like “accepted” and “rejected” more than our understanding of the terms “loved” and “hated.”

All in all, we see that Esau was a blessed man (Genesis 33:8-16, Genesis 36). God hated Esau in regard to inheriting the covenant, not in regard to blessing in this life or the next." - David Guzik
======================================================
Well that hardly seems fair, seems unjust of God to push aside Ishmael, and deny Esau his legacy by birthright.

Vs. 15-16
"For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy." NIv

We can't plan it:
Prov16:9 In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

We can't earn it:
Eph 2:8b-9 it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Once saved, we cannot even do it:
Rom7:18b For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

It is not about: me, we, you, or any individual; it is about God. It is through Christ and in Christ that we advance in the spiritual walk. This is all about God's Glory.

This is a humbling concept. If this is tough to swallow - I am with you. Before I was a Christian, it was all about "me". Since becoming a Christian, pride or thinking "I could fix things" in people is a huge stumbling block in the sanctification process. It is funny though - God keeps finding ways to humble me.
======================================================
Well, if it is all about God, then why blame man? We just march to his tune. Why should some take the rap? Doesn't seem fair.

It is God's plan, who are we to question it?

Is 55:8-9
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the LORD.

"As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

We can't understand it, and won't until we get to heaven, but Paul throws a hypothetical in here:

Since God is just, if he meted out justice - this whole earth, human thing would have been trashed a long time ago.

But if God did that - it might glorify his justice and righteousness, but it says nothing to his attributes of "mercy and grace". Much less the fact, you and I would never have existed.

Maybe God waited and had patience, so that there would be justice, but some would be called to be "saved". When it is all over, God's glory would be enhanced by the objects of his mercy knowing that it could have been them destroyed. The saved were not condemnend, and it was by his Grace and Mercy prepared in advance for those he called.

God is "fully" glorified when all his attributes are glorified.

Although Paul is talking about Israel, he finds a moment to remind the readers, that God's plan is for Jew and Gentile.

God is my Rock, God is my Redeemer? I love those words “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” I know that quiet often the words of my mouth and my thoughts are not pleasing to God. However I know He loves me and will never forsake me. God knows my heart is in the right place, but there is room for improvement. Thank you for these words they are a reminder to me to try and keep control of my tongue, and my thoughts. This is possible if I keep God close to me. Have a blessed day. Peggy

II Chronicles 14:1-16:15

Warning, warning, warning! This is what I see in the life of Asa, a warning. Asa ruled forty-one years and of those years it seems thirty-four, possibly thirty-five Asa relied, and trusted in God. But then … Why did Asa turn and trust in the treasury of silver and gold that had been acquired because he trusted in God?

A little over 85% of his reign was a good reign. He stopped running a good race after God as he got closer to the finish line. Why did he stop?

May we not follow Asa’s example and give up and give out as we approach the finish line. Take a clue from the Apostle Paul,

For I am already being poured out as an offering, and the time for me to depart is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith! Finally the crown of righteousness is reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that day — and not to me only, but also to all who have set their affection on his appearing.
(2Ti 4:6-8 NET)


Romans 9:1-24

O to have the heart for my people as Paul does for his. To grieve over those who are lost. But Paul is grieving for a people who have been given the Truth and rejected it. Giving people a precious gift and having them reject it must break the heart of God. He gave us Jesus Christ, a gift, but many after having known Him, like King Asa reject the free gift of God and turn and rely on our own strength or the strength of our substance, which belongs to God anyway ‘cause He made everything. .

Psalm 19:1-14

Yes Mike this is a sweet Psalm. Verses seven through eight are awesome and give instructions on finding ones’ true identity, for emotional and mental healing, wisdom, completeness and wholeness, insight and what so many people search for but is always elusive, joy. We look for significance in what we can afford, the people we think we know and our jobs and level of education; but David writes that all that can be found in obeying the commands and commandments of the Lord.

Proverbs 20:1

WINE IS a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler; and whoever errs or reels because of it is not wise.
(Pro 20:1 AMP)

This very interesting Proverb deserves to be looked at in many ways. You can either look at wine and strong drink, in this passage, literarily, figuratively and/or symbolically.

I know a young man, a youth minister who used this Proverb as a foundation scripture for speaking to youth about sex and the “pick-up” lines guys and girls use to get it. He divides those seeking to fulfill their sexual desires into two categories, wine folk and beer or hard alcohol folk. One is cunning and smooth in their approach and the other is in your face and out there being upfront in what they want. To give in based on the type of approach and not on the commands of God is all the same in the end. You find yourself falling down, stinking drunk from the effects of a mind altering and defense lowering individual.

Mike,
Thanks for acknowledging AA and the Serenity prayer. I am a long time AA member blessed with over 20 years of sobriety. This is my first time/year going through the Bible. I have never called myself a Christian until the last year plus however I am constantly amazed how my experience with AA and the twelve steps apply to Christianity and vice versa. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous states “be quick to see where religious people are right”. Just a small line of many amazing “one liners” in the book. I highly recommend anyone to read it for additional Sprirtual inspiration as well as a solid understanding of how AA really works. http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/

I would like to share another Prayer common to AA:
I am not sure where it came from but it clearly has “Biblical” tone:

AA’s 3rd step. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

AA 3rd step Prayer: God, I offer myself to Thee, to build with me and do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always. Amen

Sound like anything you have read in he Bible?

Thank you so much for doing this blog. It helps both me and my wife in this new and exciting journey to know God better through Jesus Christ.
God Bless

I really like Mike’s reference to the Serenity Prayer

“God grant me the serenity:
* to accept the things I cannot change

* the courage to change the things I can

* and the wisdom to know the difference

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;

trust that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next. Amen

Reinhold Neibuhr
~~~

In particular, I like this part of the prayer: "accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it"

We cannot change the sinful world, nor are we called to escape the pain of this sinful world through the "insanity" of behavior which binds us to sin and weakness.
~~~

I found this quote from a book entitled, “The Twelve Steps for Christians” which is a meditation on the Serenity Prayer:

“Our success in handling new problems is linked to our willingness to thoughtfully take action, while remembering to let go and turn it over to God.

Our faith grows as we learn to relinquish control and allow God to be the director of our lives.

The process is gradual, regenerative, and neverending. We slowly become more God-centered as we learn the true meaning of God’s love, our surrender, and spiritual serenity.

Paul captured the heart of this Twelve-step process when he said,
‘Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 3:13-14)”
~~~

Regarding the Twelve step process, I heard this quote which really spoke to me: “Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.”

The “same thing over and over” which is repeated refers to any behavior which keeps us bound in weakness or sin instead of learning to break through and overcome through the Lord Jesus.

I also want to share another quote from book entitled, “The Twelve Steps for Christians”:

NOTE: The twelve-step process as we know it today began with a distinctly Christian group, called the “Oxford Group”

“The Oxford Group’s teachings rested on the following six basic assumptions:
1. Human beings are sinners
2. Human beings can be changed
3. Confession is a prerequisite to change
4. The changed soul has direct access to God
5. The age of miracles has returned
6. Those who have been changed are to change others”
~~~

VERSES FROM TODAY’S READINGS about CHANGE THROUGH GOD

2 Chronicles 14 (NKJV)
5
He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him.
6
And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the LORD had given him rest.

2 Chronicles 16 (NKJV)
9
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”

NOTE: We need to BEGIN with surrender and doing things God’s way, and then FINISH the same way as we began

Romans 9 (NKJV)
16
So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.

NOTE:
GRACE, received and acted on through the surrender and obedience of faith, IS THE ONLY MEANS FOR CHANGE

Psalm 19 (NKJV)
7
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

13
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless, and I shall be innocent of great transgression.
14
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

NOTE:
We can only obey God’s Word through GRACE and SURRENDER to God's Word. Then, we can access God’s authority in Christ to overcome and do God’s will.

The belief and meditation in our hearts and the words we speak allow our faith to be nurtured and to grow strong in God.

Otherwise, if we meditate and speak unbelief, our faith will become weak and useless.
~~~

FINALLY, earlier this morning I was greatly challenged and ministered to by these verses with comment from the Greek about BREAKING and LOOSING.

May we all, through the surrender and obedience of faith, find our answer in the Serenity Prayer -- the courage to change the things we can change.

Christ has given us the courage to change what we can—which is ourselves.

Then, we can--as a living witness of Christ Powerful Love--share our testimony with others.

BREAK, BIND – LOOSE è receive, act on what JESUS ACCOMPLISHED ONCE FOR ALL

Matthew 5:19
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
GREEK: LUO - you loose – past tense

Matthew 16:18, 19
18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
19
And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” [NKJV note: will have been bound… will have been loosed]
A. GREEK: DEO – you bind – past tense
B. GREEK: DEO – be bound – past, perfect tense

A. GREEK: LUO - you loose – past tense
B. GREEK: LUO - be loosed – past, perfect tense

The perfect tense in Greek corresponds to the perfect tense in English, and describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated.

Jesus' last cry from the cross, TETELESTAI ("It is finished!") is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense, namely "It [the atonement] has been accomplished, completely, once and for all time."
Matthew 16:19 (Amplified Bible)
I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth [NOTE] must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth [NOTE] must be what is already loosed in heaven.

[NOTE] Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation: "The perfect passive participle, here referring to a state of having been already forbidden [or (a state of having already been) permitted]."

Matthew 18:19-20
18
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19
“Again I say [Again, assuredly, I say] to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
20
For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

verse 18
C. GREEK: DEO – you bind – past tense
D. GREEK: DEO – be bound – past, perfect tense

C. GREEK: LUO - you loose – past tense
D. GREEK: LUO - be loosed – past, perfect tense

The perfect tense in Greek corresponds to the perfect tense in English, and describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated.

Jesus' last cry from the cross, TETELESTAI ("It is finished!") is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense, namely "It [the atonement] has been accomplished, completely, once and for all time."
Matthew 18:18 (Amplified Bible)
Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth [NOTE] must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth [NOTE] must be what is already permitted in heaven.

[NOTE] Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation: "The perfect passive participle, here referring to a state of having been already forbidden [or (a state of having already been) permitted]."

Vance

As I was finishing today's blog and getting ready to view the utube video of God of Wonders, it came on on the Christian station I was listening to. Pretty cool! And how fitting to go with Psalm 19! I was already singing it in my heart as I read it!

I made a decision to receive Christ as my Lord and Savior in 1979. Since then, I have read the Bible through at least 25 times. I also was an alcoholic before accepting Christ. For years I gave up drinking because of my alcoholic past. Now I limit myself to one glass of red wine daily because it is good for me and it also gives me pleasure. I know there are some who disagree with this, yet I see no problem in this if done in moderation.

I COULD TAKE TODAYS READING & ALL THE COMMENTS AND SHARE WITH SO MANY PEOPLE,WHAT A BLESSING THIS BLOG HAS BEEN FOR ME!
THANK YOU JESUS!!! THANK YOU MIKE!
HELLO WILL,
YOU MUST OF HEAR OF GLADYS,SHE INTODUCES THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW SHE MADE A COMMENT "I LOVE JESUS BUT I DRINK A LITTLE"

My Dad used to drink. When I was a child and he try to pick me up via court order at my grandparents once a month, I knew he had been drinking. I did not want to go. I told him Please stop. He went to AA and has been sober since 1990. I have seen what alcohol can do. People around me offered me alcohol and I turn it down. I thank God for saving my Dad and teaching me.

All of the readings stood out to me because in 2nd Chronicles 16 - Asa falling away from God and relying on a foreign King and If Asa would have relied on God/Jehova all along - I think all would have gone well with King Asa. This talks about my family because we have not had God in our lives for a long time. During my second relationship and the children we have along with the children in both of our prior legal marriages. None of us had God in our lives, however, there are some of us that have begun such as my children's father's daughter-in-law, Amy, began her relationship over a year ago and I am now beginning a relationship with him after so many times of beginning one and then going astray again.

Proverbs 20 vs. 1 - Wine produces mockers, liquor leads to brawls and whoever is lead astray by alcohol cannot be wise. We have alot of alcohol in our family. The father of my children is a heavy drinker and because of that, he really had no control of his life. He is a wonderful man, he works hard, too hard for his health which would make me worry so much. I have been in so much fear that one day he would kick over dead due to cardiac arrest and I hope and pray that he would stop because of what it does to his behavior but namely what it does to his health. I would like to have him around for a long time. I truly do love this man but due to such anger that I have over his abuse of his body and my own insecurities of the reality that he doesn't love me. I am just here because he does not want to be alone. He thinks he does and wants to believe that he does but I don't think he knows what love is and I probably don't either but I know what it isn't. Due to all our fighting, he has become bitter and cold and has been in the past. My main concern is that I don't want him to die. I don't know if I could ever live life to my fullest without. I am glad all this has lead me to God and reading the daily word because I have learned alot from and I need to be strong. I have had suspicion that he wants to be with another woman and it is tearing me apart but if he does, I will have to accept it and go on. My fear is that I may suffer a living hell while living with hurt and humiliation with everyone around him laughing that the joke is on me.

This is the beginning of an article I once wrote:

Standing before the group with knocking knees and shaking hands, she bravely walked up to the podium and sais, "Hi, My name is Jane!" The audience answered her with, "Hi, Jane!"

She said, "I am here to tell my story of how alcohol has destroyed my life, the life of my children, and there was not one thing I could do about it."

She looked out across the various faces that sat before her and she knew they thought they understood; but they really did not know how horrible her life had been.

I finished the article; but will not relate it here; but just the ending.

After finishing her story, she started to walk away from the podium; and then she turned went back to the microphone. "Oh, I forgtot to tell you while alcohol destroyed my life, you will remember when I started I did not say, "Hi, My name is Jane, I am an alcoholic!"

The audience had missed that.

Then she merely said, "My husband was!"

Just came across your blog...looking for daily reminders and readings. Thank you. I enjoyed your posts very much.

It was a sweet reminder from God to spend time learning the Bible. Thank you!

...............Silly start???
i don't think so!
luv it- never seen before nor heard motto
and i'm saving it for my grandchildren!
You are a blessing Mike and i pray you're blessed beyond measure.

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