Stirring

Isaiah 43:8–13; Romans 11:13–29

What or who are you fighting for? If you are not fighting for , then are you fighting for an idol?

Often Christians dismiss the Israelites of the Old Testament as the clueless. They were the people that didn’t get it. This view seems to be reinforced by Jesus’ s, yet were they really that clueless?

They valued the of . They valued traditions. They valued theology. They valued being Jewish. These values, it seems, were more a barrier between them and , rather than

How much are we just like them? Would we really recognize Jesus on the street or the internet?

Christians have been accused of being blind and deaf to Jesus. This has come from Christians and it has come from the world. We are often quick to dismiss these s, rather than contemplate them.

We are human. We will be blind. We will be deaf. In many ways, that is how we are able to go through without losing our minds or succumbing to .

There really isn’t a prescription so that we all know and can all be certified to be Christians. That would be nice. It takes practice. It takes a lot of practice.

The statistics are showing that many churches will not recover post-COVID. Some are saying that only 30% will . Imagine your church only having 30% of its people.

Perhaps this will be the winnowing that the church needs.

This is along the same line of thought, though different, that had regarding his fellow Jews. He knew they were passionate about the of , tradition, theology. They still had a t problem.

wanted the Jews to look at the Gentiles and want what they have, freedom in grace and mercy. In addition, the Gentiles (along with the Jews that became Christian) began to develop a of faith and trust that transced culture and blood.

We Christians, though, have now been around long enough that we have developed tradition, a love of ’s that doesn’t necessarily include reading it, and we have theology.

We are likely now at the point where we need a to get us stirred up. We need to be what wanted the Jews to be…jealous for .

※Prayer※

, may we be stirred up for your plan and glory. Amen.

※Questions※

1) What does it mean to be jealous for ?

2) Why can love for ’s an incomplete understanding of the of in our lives?

3) Why do you think people won’t ? What can we change to encourage people to stay and ?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.