Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paul's epistle to the Romans has been the source of renewal throughout the history of the church, largely due to the apostle's emphasis on the good news that our righteousness comes through faith apart from works of the law. In other words, the gifts of God in Christ are dependent solely upon the action of God's love for us in Christ. But this news also leads Paul into a thorny, sorrowful place. What of his own people? What of Israel, which has largely not believed in Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah? In chapters 9-11, Paul wrestles with this question. Saddened as he is that Israel has yet to believe in Christ, he refuses to give up on the grace of a promising, covenantal God. Paul looks to the future, when his own people will come into the grace of God through Jesus Christ, and all Israel will be saved. If God has adopted them, what can undo this grace?

Gracious God, we thank you for being a God who chooses. As you long ago chose Israel, so now you have chosen us. Thank you that we are not chosen because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us. Amen.

David R. Lyle
Pastor, St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Pawleys Island, S.C.
Master of Divinity , 2002

Romans 9:1-5 (NRSV)

1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit—
2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh.
4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
5 to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.

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This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.