One Tree – Lots of Mercy
Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off. And if the people of Israel turn from their unbelief, they will be grafted in again, for God has the power to graft them back into the tree.
I was playing a video game with my son the other night – it was a basketball game. It was the first time I played him. I beat him by almost 30. It was such a beautiful thing! But, then he asked for a second chance, another opportunity to play me, and this time he destroyed me. Beginners luck I guess.
We all love getting second chances! I want you to know that we serve a God of second chances. In Romans 11 Paul was talking about how God hasn’t given up on Israel. These have been repeatedly disobedient people and at times against the things of God. But, God has never written them off or gone back on His promises. Instead He has given them tons of mercy.
The amazing thing is, is that mercy has been extended to all the Gentiles. Paul describes this tree with branches that have been grafted in and others that have been cut off. The cut off branches were the disobedient Israelites and the grafted in branches were the believing Gentiles. Of course this made some of the Gentiles pretty prideful and some of the Israelites pretty discouraged.
But, then God steps in and says not so fast. Even though He is the one that cut off the branches He is also the One who is willing to graft them back in. This says a couple things to me. Every branch I have ever cut off a tree has died, making it impossible to graft back in. God may cut us off the tree but then keeps us alive until we decide to come back. Then, He has the power to graft us back in.
The God of second chances! We may have gotten beat the first time – but we can be very victorious the second time if we want. Don’t give up on yourself – God hasn’t given up on you. Turn from your unbelief, your sin, and come back to the Father. He is ready and willing to graft you back into the tree.
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Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.