18 August 2020

Isaiah 43:8–13; Romans 11:13–29

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

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 ‘ words, yet were they really that clueless?

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

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

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 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 Paul had regarding his fellow Jews. He knew they were passionate about the word of God, tradition, theology. They still had a heart problem.

Paul 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 that transcended culture and blood.

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

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


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


1) What does it mean to be jealous for God?

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

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

Image courtesy of Ulrike Mai