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Paul’s greatest sadness was watching the children of Israel reject the free gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Amazingly, this Pharisee turned Missionary had started a movement throughout the Roman Empire that would ultimately bring Christ to the world.  Yet, in spite of his great impact, he felt useless in bringing Christ to his own people and culture.

 It was not that the Church in Israel was not thriving—It was.  But the people of Israel had been indoctrinated and engrained with the notion that their relationship with God was dependent on the things they did—following laws, making sacrifices and checking the boxes all good Israelites checked.  This message of freedom from the law and grace from God was absolutely inconceivable to them.  Paul knew that better than most—after all, God had to take dramatic measures to bring him around.

 In our world, We all still struggle with God’s gift being freedom to follow him.  Like Israel, it is just easier to complete tasks and be good.  To have to live our lives by faith, yield to God’s leadership and ultimately trust God is more than most can handle.  God simply wants us to trust and follow him—ironically, that is about all most people are unwilling to do.

 God Bless You

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[b] In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”[c]