Sunday, December 4, 2016

Romans 15:4-13

4 Even the ancient scriptures were written with us in mind. They instruct us in a way that forms hope. And since we have this hope we patiently endure the tough times with cheerfulness. That’s what scripture does for us. 5 So, I’m asking the God behind all this endurance and cheerfulness to fill your lives to the brim with hopefulness -- which is the way of Christ Jesus. And being that you are his people, this attitude of hope, endurance, and cheer should spill over and saturate the way that you all relate to each other. 6 Then people as diverse as Jews and Gentiles can come together with one voice to glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 So just as Christ has welcomed you, welcome each other -- and let God be honored. 8 My point is this -- Christ became a servant of the Jews, who are marked with God’s truth, confirming the promises he made to the ancestors. 9 A component of those promises was the word that the Gentiles would also receive mercy and glorify God. Here are four scripture passages written to show that it has been God’s intention all along to enfold the Gentiles into the community of those who put their hope in him. Note how Gentiles confess faith in the Lord and worship him.

The first is from Psalm 18:49 --
Because you saved me from violent people I will acknowledge you among the Gentiles, and with them I will sing your praises.
10 Then, in Deuteronomy 32:43 it says,
Rejoice, Gentiles, along with God’s chosen people.
11 And again, in Psalm 117:1,
All Gentiles join in praising the Lord. All the people from all the nations should join in singing his praises.
12 And yet again, Isaiah 11:10 says,
There will be a new shoot from the root of our ancestor Jesse. He will rise to rule both the Jews and Gentiles. Yes! Even the Gentiles will put their hope in him.
13 He is indeed the God of hope. Might he fill you to the brim so that your cups slosh faith-grown joy and peace as you walk. Might you overflow with Holy Spirit empowered hope.