Along Life's Road

By grace we are saved

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. – Romans 10:1

As you begin to read, what is it that you have been praying for on behalf of an individual or others? Is it a prayer for their good or their harm? Many, because of hate, are praying for the downfall, shame and disgrace of others. In our text today, Paul the apostle is praying for the salvation of a nation and also people at large.

The Word of God is powerful, and when you are in despair, burdened with the cares of this world, it is time to read, ponder and accept the Word of God for the edification of your soul. Today is a good day for a change for the rest of your life.

My friends, how I wish with all my heart that my own people might be saved. How I pray to God for them. I can assure you that they are deeply devoted to God, but their devotion is not based on true knowledge. They have not known the way in which God puts people right with himself, and instead, they have tried to set up their own way, and so they did not submit themselves to God’s way of putting people right. For Christ has brought the law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God.

Moses wrote this about being put right with God by obeying the law. Whoever obeys the commands of the law will live. What scripture says about being put right with God through faith is this: you are not to ask yourself, who will go up to heaven to bring Christ down or who will go down to the earth below to bring Christ up from death. God’s message is near you, on your lips and in your heart.

If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised him from death, you will be saved. For it is by our faith that we are put right with God. It is by confession that we are saved. The scripture says “Whosoever believes in him will not be disappointed.” This includes everyone, because there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles; God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to him. As the scripture says, “Everyone who calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.”

But how can they call to him for help if they have not believed? And how can they believe if they have not heard the message? And how can they hear if the message is not proclaimed? And how can the message be proclaimed if the messengers are not sent out? As the scripture says, how wonderful is the coming of messengers who bring good news. But not all have accepted the good news. Isaiah himself said, Lord who believed our message? So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes though preaching Christ.

But I ask, is it true that they did not hear the message? Of course, they did, for the scripture says, the sound of their voice went out to all the world; their words reached the ends of the earth. Did the people of Israel not understand? Moses is the first one to answer: “I will use a so-called nation to make my people jealous; and by means of a nation of fools I will make my people angry.

Isaiah is even bolder when he says, “ I was found by those not looking for me; I appeared to those who were not asking for me.” But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I held out my hands to welcome a disobedient and rebellious people.”

I ask then, did God reject his own people? Certainly not! God has not rejected his people, whom he chose from the beginning. You know what the scripture says in the passage when Elijah pleads with God against Israel. “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left and they are trying to kill me. God told him, “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not worshipped the false god Baal.”

It is the same way now. There is a small number left of those whom God has chosen because of his grace. His choice is based on his grace, and not on what we have done. For if God’s choices were based on what people do, then his grace would not be real grace.

Thank you, God, for your grace for by grace we are saved and not of ourselves, it is the gift of God. The relevance of God’s word is so powerful for us in our lives and times. How can we ignore and not accept it for our own good and salvation?

• E-mail or Write to P.O. Box, 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas, with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God’s blessings.

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