Romans 9

Paul is willing to do something I am not: give up his relationship with Christ if it means his fellow Israelites could know Jesus. Since the former cannot possibly bring about the latter, it is a moot point, a hollow wish. Or is it?

Even though it is an impossibility, I need to ask myself, do I care about anyone else’s salvation deeply enough to be willing to give up my spot in the Kingdom? I have to “speak the truth in Christ,” as Paul would say. I don’t think I’m ready to go that far.

Don’t get me wrong. One of my life’s greatest rewards is seeing folks come to and grow in Christ. But I think sometimes my attitude can take on that of verses 10-18: if someone doesn’t come to Christ, it’s not my fault.

Paul’s words here remind me that we are all “Children of the Promise.” And just as some Jews in Paul’s day chose to abandon that promise, people of our day will also choose that option. Only God knows who those are. When I attempt to figure out who it is that will choose life and who will choose death, I begin to play God.

Paul makes it clear, some will not come to Christ. We don’t understand why God chose to show us His mercy. We should stand in awe that God did, indeed, choose us. Our hearts should be overflowing with gratitude that we have received God’s mercy. When we see all of the evil in the world, we should be humbled and thankful that we have been chosen to inherit God’s riches.

Meanwhle, because we’ve no idea whom God has chosen, we should do our best to take on the attitude of Paul: a deep, heartfelt love and concern for the salvation of our friends, our family, co-workers and people we pass on the streets. The love of Christ within us has the power and strength to love others through us. It has the capacity to love everyone, every single person in our race . . . the human race.

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