Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
There’s a reassurance in being part of a church body and all the services that body offers. We share a focus, we share some like beliefs, we meet together and sometimes we even share our innermost thoughts. Church is a spot dedicated to “family” intimacy but learning obedience to our faith with that kind of intimacy is hard. It’s not purposely hidden but in my experience it doesn’t happen frequently either.
There are moments in life with God that may be so meaningful and intimate they are closely guarded because they’re soul-bearing revelations. That kind of intimacy strips away all our pretensions of adequacy and sophistication. It’s that intimacy of inadequacy that reveals the real and absolute naked truth of our need for God. God bless and multiply those moments when that kind of intimacy makes it plan for us to see it’s how the “righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith.”
NIV Romans 11:17 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, 18 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
MSG Romans 11:16-18 Behind and underneath all this there is a holy, God-planted, God-tended root. If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit. Some of the tree’s branches were pruned and you wild olive shoots were grafted in. Yet the fact that you are now fed by that rich and holy root gives you no cause to crow over the pruned branches. Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you.
Good grief! That was all I wrote as I read two different versions of Romans 11 this particular morning. I am in so far over my head theologically that my only hope is this small portion to try to wrap my head around and hoping that will come tomorrow. It’s only later in the day that God gives me a real-life application.
My husband is on the phone with his brother reminiscing about their sister who died last month, sharing stories and memories. She’d entered their family as a teenager in the late 1930s. She was “the wild olive shoot” God chose to graft into their family as surely as any natural born sister could be. I’m listening to “good grief” between these brothers and that reminds me of my own morning comment and these words from Romans about how God chooses to prune…and to graft.
My father-in-law was in the ministry. They already had four sons and another daughter in a time when their annual income was about $1500 dollars…but there was that “primary root.” That turned out to be enough to feed and nourish one more branch. God planted this sister in their family, and then honored his word in all their lives, and now mine.
“If the primary root of the tree is holy, there’s bound to be some holy fruit” and then for all of us who are also grafted in to “Remember, you aren’t feeding the root; the root is feeding you.”