Read Romans 11:11-24
A God Created In Our Image
“Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God”
Digger Deeper: American culture isn’t too thrilled with this verse! We don’t want a God who is stern; we want a God who is only kind—all the time. We want a God who is more like an easygoing grandfather than a strong father. We want nurture, not discipline. We prefer love without truth if the truth is going to hurt. We want a God who makes us feel good and who will guarantee our comfort and success.
This kinder, gentler theology has even invaded the church. A lot of people now go to church not to be engaged by truth, but to get a certain feeling—the warm fuzzies. That’s why a lot of people evaluate their church experience or even choose their church based on if it will make them feel good.
I suppose what we really want is a God created in our image!
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to follow a God like that. I want a God who will give me a dose of tough love when I need it. I want a God who knows what is right for me, because I certainly don’t always know what is right for me. I want a God who is my loving Father, which means that he will sometimes discipline me out of love. I want a God who is more committed to my holiness than my happiness, because I will never truly be happy, not in this life or the life to come, until I get the holiness thing right.
The writer of Hebrews talked about this when he wrote,
“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and life! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:7-11)
That’s the God I want, and I need. I want a God who is kind when I need kindness, and stern when I need sternness.
A God who will give me both is a God who really loves me!
“If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for
comfort you will not get either comfort or truth…”
This Week’s Assignment:
Read: Romans 11:1-36
Memorize: Romans 11:33,
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
For Your Consideration: There are several things in this chapter (as well as throughout Romans) that might leave you scratching your head. For hundreds of years, theologians and laymen alike have debated “election” versus “free will” with no clear resolution to the debate. Likewise, certain statements are made by the Bible’s human authors that seem to run against the grain of what we know to be true about God, such as the one in Romans 11:32, “For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.” Do you think there are some things in Scripture that we should just chalk up to Romans? Romans 11:33