Better Out Than In
Jesus, You are Lord. I believe You died and were raised back to life. And I know that You have saved me. Hallelujah!
Read Romans 9:30-10:21
 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith;  but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal.  Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.  As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.  For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.  Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.  Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”  But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down)  “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?'” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim:  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”  For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,  for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”  But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.  But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”  Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”  And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”  But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does the apostle Paul say is the way to being saved (9)?
According to current thinking, you may believe what you like so long as you don’t try to push it on anyone else. Tolerance is a dearly held value, but our society is not all that tolerant of anyone who insists on their truth being The Truth. So sharing our faith in Jesus has become profoundly uncomfortable and we might be tempted to make our spiritual convictions a matter of private devotion. Paul categorically tells us that silence is not an option, for two reasons: a) Proclaiming the Gospel is part and parcel of salvation. Have a look at verse 9–what does it tell us about the basis upon which we are saved? b) If we don’t tell people about Jesus, how will they get to know him (14,15)? What we say won’t always be heard or understood, but some who weren’t even looking will find God through us. And how amazing to play a part in even one person’s arrival in the Kingdom of heaven!
What opportunities might you have to tell others what you believe and why? Pray that through you they will come to believe.
Lord Jesus, teach me to know what to say to others who need to hear about You and Your gift of love and life.
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