The Nations

Day 227

Prayer for the day

Save me, O God, by your Name; in your might, defend my cause. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.

Scripture for the day

Psalm 94-96, Romans 15:14-33

Most of us are easily convinced that God loves us. What’s far more difficult is believing that God loves other people.

We find it easy to believe that God cares for people who try to be good. We think it’s nice to be the chosen. We think it’s great to be “in.”

But we don’t like to think that God’s love extends to those who are “out.” We don’t like to think that God’s love is something bigger than us, because it makes us think we’re really special. It makes us feel like we’re the ones who are important.

Feeling important, however, isn’t on either the Psalmist’s or the Apostle’s list. Instead of feeling important, both of them recognize the magnanimous love of God extends far beyond their wildest imaginations.

The Psalmist calls on the people of Israel to make God’s goodness known to the nations. This goes directly against the feeling of specialness. The people are special, it’s true, but they’re special because they’ve been chosen to be God’s mouthpiece to the nations. The people of Israel are special because God chose them to be the exemplars of his goodness. They were supposed to spread his love across the globe.

Paul was called by God to do exactly the same thing. He was called to move the love of God beyond the Jewish people to whom he belonged, to preach the love and gospel of God to the Gentiles, to the people who were “not chosen” yet who had been chosen by God to receive his love and care.

Both the Psalmist and Paul had the amazing privilege of bearing witness to at ruth greater than themselves: the gospel of God is bigger than nationality, bigger than skin color or religious affection. The love of God is enormous!

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