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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Speaking to Gentile Christians, Paul warns them not to feel superior because some Jews were rejected. Abraham’s faith is like the root of a productive tree and the Jewish people are the tree’s natural branches. Because of faithlessness, some of the Jews have been broken off, and Gentile believer, who were branches from a wild olive tree have been grafted in. Both Jews and Gentiles share the tree’s nourishment based on faith in God; neither can rest on heritage or culture for salvation.
“Continue to trust in his kindness” refers to steadfast perseverance in faith. Steadfastness is a proof of the reality of faith and a by-product of salvation, not a means to it. (NLT)
Romans 11:16-24 – And since Abraham and the other patriarchs were holy, their children will also be holy. For if the roots of the tree are holy the branches will be, too.
But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree, some of the Jews, have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, were grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in God’s rich nourishment of his special olive tree. But you must be careful not to brag about being grafted in to replace the branches that were broken off. Remember, you are just a branch, not the root
“Well,” you may say, “those branches were broken off to make room for me.” Yes, but remember—those branches, the Jews, were broken off because they didn’t believe God, and you are there because you do believe. Don’t think highly of yourself, but fear what could happen. For if God did not spare the branches he put there in the first place, he won’t spare you either.
Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe to those who disobeyed, but kind to you as you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. And if the Jews turn from their unbelief, God will graft them back into the tree again. He has the power to do it.
For if God was willing to take you who were, by nature, branches from a wild olive tree and graft you into his own good tree—a very unusual thing to do—he will be far more eager to graft the Jews back into the tree where they belong.
You, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root. – Romans 11:17 (NIV)
Karline Fischer’s (California) story is titled “BEING GRAFTED.” Here is Karline’s story:
“Once my father grafted a pear-tree branch into an apple tree. First he cut a thick branch off of our apple tree, creating a flat surface on the trunk. Then he cut a slit on the flat surface and placed the pear branch in the slit. Finally, he covered it with tar so the graft could attach to the apple tree. In time, the grafted branch produced fruit that looked like an apple but tasted like a pear.
“After seeing this process, I understood Romans 11 verse much better. When we come to salvation, the Lord cuts us off from our old way of life and grafts us into the family of God. Jesus’ dying on the cross opened the door for us to be adopted into the new family. We receive the seal of the Holy Spirit. We are also added to Christ’s church (see Acts 2:471)—a spiritual family that will provide for us the nurture, fellowship, and accountability essential for healthy growth and fruitfulness.
“Each of us needs to belong to a community of faith. If we are a new believer or someone new to a particular church congregation, we may find it difficult to get connected and established. However, the Lord will graft us into a church family if we stay patient with the process. As we grow, we will produce love, joy, patience, and other fruit of the Spirit. (See Galatians 5:222.)”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Through Jesus we have been grafted into God’s family
Prayer: Redeeming God, help us to grow as we are established in a church family. Amen.
Prayer Focus: THOSE VISITING A NEW CHURCH
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
PERSEVERANCE, PERSEVERE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/perseverance-persevere/
EMPLOYERS, EMPLOYER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/employers-employer/
SUFFERING, SUFFER: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/suffering-suffer/
PROTECTION, PROTECTING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/protection-protectig/
RUN, RUNNING, RUNNING AWAY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/run-running-running-away/
OBEDIENCE, OBEY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/obedience-obey/
CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/christian-community/
ABILITY, ABILITIES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/ability-abilities/
1 A healthy Christian community attracts people to Christ. The Jerusalem church’s zeal for worship and brotherly love was contagious. A healthy, loving church will grow in numbers. What are you doing to make your church the kind of place that will attract others to Christ? (NLT)
Acts 2:47 – . . . all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their group those who were being saved.
2 The fruit of the Spirit is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. The Spirit produces these character traits that are found in the nature of Christ. They are the by-products of Christ’s control—we can’t obtain them by trying to get them without his help. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our life to his. We must know him, love him, remember him, and imitate him. As a result, we will fulfill the intended purpose of the law—to love God and our neighbors. Which of these qualities do you want the Spirit to produce in you? (NLT)
Galatians 5:22 – But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
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