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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“But to Israel he says: ‘All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.’”—Romans 10:21 (NKJV)
If you’re a parent, you know that there are few things more frustrating than when your child resists something you know is good for them. “Trust me, you’re going to want this on your life’s resume. I know it doesn’t seem like it right now, but you’ll thank me later for signing up for this, for pushing you to practice, for getting you to go outside of your comfort zone.”
There’s a part of a parent’s heart that not only wants what’s best for their kids, but that also breaks when they see them reject it for themselves. So, imagine what happens to God’s heart when His people resist something infinitely more important that He wants for them . . . like salvation!
That was the case throughout virtually the entire Old Testament. There were momentary outbreaks of repentance and revival, but for the most part, as God’s chosen people, the children of Israel were wayward.
Things really didn’t change when Jesus arrived as their Messiah. Although He wanted nothing more than to deliver His chosen people from their sin, they resisted Him and His message. For the most part, they simply didn’t want what He was offering; a diagnosis He delivers with exacting clarity in John’s gospel: “Yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:40 NIV).
In the wake of Israel’s rejection, Jesus extended His offer of salvation to the rest of the world, giving anyone and everyone who receives and believes in Him the right to become God’s chosen children (John 1:11-12). Now, in these New Testament times, the call to inherit salvation is given to all, and just as before, His call is resisted more than it’s received.
Again, go back to the parental picture. It pains a parent to see their children, whom they love, resist something they need. How it must pain the Lord’s heart when those He loves most (which is each and every person) resist what they need most (which is eternal life).
Where do we, as those who have received and believed in Jesus, fit in? We’ve been given the power and privilege to pray for those who haven’t yet answered God’s call to salvation through Christ (1 Timothy 2:4; James 5:16; 1 John 5:15). Let’s be faithful to pray for those we know that are resisting what they most need.
DIG: How did the nation of Israel generally respond to Christ’s call?
DISCOVER: What’s the response to Christ’s call today? What’s your responsibility in light of this?
DISPLAY: Spend some time today praying for those who haven’t yet received Jesus, for those who are resisting the grace of God.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.