Joshua 3:1-13; Romans 11:25-36; Matthew 25:31-46
Sometimes one thinks, “I wish I had received the gift he got.” Either the gift received was not one desired or the thought goes along the line of, “I should have gotten that gift instead of him.” Usually, these are the immature thoughts of children.
The children of Israel had such thoughts about God’s gift of mercy to the rest of the nations. How dare God give to them what seemed rightfully Israel’s alone? He dared because he is both wise and merciful to all. His mercy defies our understanding. This is for our benefit. Yet, some in the churches end up doing much the same as they did in ancient Israel. “How dare a person like that come to church?” is overheard in the parking lot.
Israel may have hated it that Gentiles were given such a precious gift but it is the Father’s gift to give. He is Lord of all the earth, and with it, all its peoples. He first gave good gifts to Israel, but now gives salvation to all. The mature response is to thankfully receive the gift given, not to berate the other’s gift—and especially not criticize the giver of all good gifts.
Prayer: Lord, help me be grateful for your gifts to others. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman,
Pastor of Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Asheboro, NC.