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Day 43 - A Remnant By Grace

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Reading: Romans 11: 1-5

Reflective Thoughts

A remnant by grace


Nothing makes us feel smaller than a struggle that is bigger than we are. Ironically, sometimes this becomes most evident after we've won major battles. Elijah faced 400 opponents in front of a hostile crowd and trusted God to win a miraculous victory. When it was all over, he ran away from one cranky woman, discouraged and feeling as if he were the only one (I Kings 18 and 19). God assured him that he wasn't alone. Seven thousand others like him were being preserved as a remnant by God's grace.

Paul could have felt Elijah's discouragement. He was one of a painfully small minority of believing Jews amidst a rising sea of Gentile believers. But he remembered God's principles of faithfulness and grace. Israel would not be forgotten. God's plans don't fail.

What struggles will you face today? What battles will you win or lose-and when they are over, will you feel like the only one? God's plans for you won't fail, and if you ask Him, He will show you that you are not alone in your struggle. Hold fast in faith to Him as His grace holds on to you.



Day 42 - How Will They Hear?

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Reading: Romans 10

Reflective Thoughts

How will they hear?

Statistics do not always like us. The Barna group and others have claimed for years that Christians are no different than the world. They say the divorce rate among Evangelicals is only slightly lower than those of the general population. We're told that the choices our teens make about sex mirror those of their non-believing peers. Some recent scholarship, however, has challenged these findings. University of Connecticut sociologist Bradley Wright asserts that Evangelicals who attend church at least a few times a month look significantly different than the world.

The light of Christ is no more evident from church attendance than simply saying we are Christians. However, when Paul says that the Word is near us, in our mouths and in our hearts, he's speaking about faith confessed and believed in such a way that it is demonstrated outwardly. We do this most powerfully when we do it together.

Jesus said that the way we demonstrate who we are is by loving one another (John 13:35.) Living in the submission and others-centered unity of our local Body of Christ is something that we don't often equate with sharing the gospel. But it's the only way that the Church (Christians) can function the way Christ intended. The feet that bring good news are beautiful because they carry with them the mouth that speaks it, the hands that serve it and the eyes that search for those who need it-that's all of us together.


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