I’ve always like the following verses, taken from those set for reading and meditation.
Romans 11:13-24 (NIV): “I (Paul) am talking to you non-Jews. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the non-Jews, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches.
If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!”
We often hear about God’s love – and that is as it should be; however, we hear very little about the sternness of God in today’s churches. Another, aspect to consider while you think about these verses, is this condition, which Paul specifies: ‘provided that you continue in his kindness’, otherwise you too, may be cut off. What do you think that means?
I also liked this part of Selwyn’s conclusion: “There is only one thing that can save the hull of your heart from being battered against the rocks when the storm of doubt or devilish opposition bears down upon you. You must deliberately, purposefully and painstakingly remind yourselves of the truths that have been covered in these pages, and use then in the same way that a mariner uses an anchor.”
Selwyn finishes this study, by reminding us of the solid foundations of our faith, which are built on the truth and victory of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. These truths – expressions of God’s love, can hold us firm through the fiercest storm.
Yet, I think, it requires us to do something – and, that means we must reach out and hold onto His love. We cannot be arrogant or presume that we will not be washed away by life’s storms – if we do ‘nothing’. Do you agree?