“I ask, then, has God rejected his own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning. … ”
Romans 11:1-2a NLT
As we look through the Scriptures in the Bible, it is clear that God is a God of acceptance, not rejection. He doesn’t reject anyone who earnestly and sincerely seek Him. But there is a difference between religiosity and repentance, between liturgy and true worship, between legalism and the love of God. The offer of grace and love from our Heavenly Father extends to every person in every nation on earth. But His chosen people, the “nation of Israel”, will always exist in a special place within His heart, because He “chose [them] from the very beginning”. We Gentile Christians may not like that but the Bible is clear. So we need to get over it and move on, with the assurance that God loves all His children.
There are many verses in the Bible that show how much God loves and accepts us. One of my favourites is from 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you”. The Amplified version reads, “casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]”. There is something secure and heart warming about the thought that God cares so deeply for me, and you. In a similar theme, we have Psalm 50:15, “Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory”.
Jesus Himself said that He will not reject people who come to Him. “However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them” (John 6:37). And, of course, His compassionate invitation in Matthew 11:28-30, “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light””.
Paul wrote in the letter to the Ephesians the following, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:4-5). Incredible though it seems, God looked down the corridors of time, seeing us and thinking about us with a love so profound that He made sure of our adoption into His family through His Son Jesus. John develops this theme, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognise that we are God’s children because they don’t know him” (1 John 3:1).
As we read the Bible we find God’s love dripping from every page, and through His grace we have access to it, and more. Paul was concerned about his people, the Jews. One day they will have a role in a future Kingdom, but Gentiles will not be forgotten. We are all accepted through His marvellous love and grace. Charles Wesley wrote the lyrics for one of my favourite hymns,
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of Heav’n to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.
Dear God. With “trembling hearts” we reach out to You today, assured of Your love and acceptance. Forever. Amen.