Paul speaks from a place of “great sorrow and unceasing anguish” as he realizes that his commitment to the truth of the gospel has separated him from his own people and from who he used to be before he came to faith in Jesus. Despite his pain and grief, Paul...
God, encourage me to speak the truth as Paul does in his letter to the Romans, worrying not about how my words will be received by the world but about how closely I am sticking to your truth in Christ. Amen.
Jacob is attacked one night by an unknown assailant and wrestles with him until morning. We discover that the assailant comes from God, so Jacob is given a new name, Israel. The psalmist is feeling unjustly accused and cries out to God. He is confident that he would be vindicated if all the facts were known. In Romans, Paul deals with difficult theological issues. He states that he would sacrifice his own soul if his fellow Israelites would accept Christ. Jesus teaches a crowd that is growing hungry, and his disciples are trying to figure out how to feed them. They see only what they lack, while Jesus asks them what they have. This story is a lesson about offering God what we have and trusting God.
Read Genesis 32:22-31. When have you been forced to wrestle with yourself or your self-identity? How did this struggle reveal a blessing?Read Psalm 17:1-7, 15. When have you felt the need to serve as your own advocate before God? How has this experience affirmed your trust in God?Read Romans 9:1-5. When have you experienced Paul’s anguish that others do not accept what you have come to know in your faith, whether by conversion, denominational change, education, or encounter with God? How do you continue to be in relationship with such family or friends?Read Matthew 14:13-21. When have you witnessed small acts of sharing that have led to great abundance?
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