Here’s a phrase that will change your life: “We’re in the middle chapters.” No matter what’s happening in our lives, we all need to be reminded sometimes that the story isn’t finished. We haven’t seen the final chapters of our lives yet because God’s work is not yet done! And the circumstances that seem the most impossible to us are exactly the places God loves to make something beautiful happen. Don’t miss the conclusion of our Plot Twist series this Sunday! Together we’ll see that God’s work with the Jewish people is not yet finished, and his work isn’t finished with us either.
1. Your faith should make others jealous.
- When Paul wrote this section of the book of Romans, he was instructing Gentile (non-Jewish) believers to live in such a way that it would provoke the Jewish people to jealousy and inspire them to trust Jesus as their Savior. The principle is the same for us: the way we live our lives should make others jealous.
- When we follow Jesus, we end up with something other people don’t have: a faith and hope and joy that’s unshakeable, no matter what happens in the world around us. Jesus calls us the salt of the earth, designed to make people “thirsty” for Jesus.
How is your life making others jealous and desirous for Jesus?
2. Be careful to abide.
- Paul uses the imagery of an olive tree to describe how non-Jewish believers have been united to the family of God. He describes the Jewish people as a cultivated olive tree and Gentiles as a wild olive tree that has been grafted in. Although we are all part of the same family of God now, we also all need to abide in Jesus. When circumstances aren’t what we want them to be, we often stop abiding in Jesus.
- We can even believe in Jesus but not be abiding in him. If you sense your soul is getting bitter, ask God to help you abide.
- One way to know where we’re struggling to abide in Jesus is by what makes us the most nervous. What would it take for you to rest in God in that?
What are the areas you’re struggling to abide in Jesus because you’re nervous?
3. God’s not done yet.
- Sometimes we go through seasons where it feels like God has hit pause on what he’s doing in our lives…we either can’t see what he’s doing, or the things we really want to see happen in our lives aren’t happening.
- It’s important to remember in seasons of waiting that God’s not done yet. We’re in the middle chapters. And the best thing for us to do is acknowledge where we want to see God working in our lives and then trust that he is already accomplishing his purposes, even if we don’t see it yet.
Where do you feel like God has placed a pause in your life, and how can you better trust him while you wait to see that God’s not done yet?
4. Let’s stand in awe.
- God’s ways are different and so much more beautiful than ours, which should inspire us with a sense of awe…but we have an awe and wonder problem. We’ve grown so used to sensationalized living that we’ve lost our ability to stand in awe of God’s ways and plans.
- God wants to restore to us childlike awe…that comes whenever we have eyes to see and ears to hear what the Lord is doing in our lives and in the world around us.
How can you cultivate a childlike wonder in your own life?