Daily Bible Reading for February 2, 2014: Romans 11-12
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Context and Meaning: With Jews suffering under the rule of the Roman Empire, some believed that God had abandoned the Israelites in favor of the Gentiles. In chapter 11, Paul reassures the Jews that they have not been abandoned. Israel is God's chosen nation, His chose people, however, they have repeatedly turned their backs on the Lord. In return, their hearts had been hardened. Even during Paul's time, many hearts were hardened, which is why so many Jews rejected Jesus Christ as their savior. Through salvation of the Gentiles, the Israelites will return to the Lord. In chapter 12, Paul talks about being a sacrifice for Christ. Often envisioned is martyrdom, but that is the extreme. Instead, the sacrifice is daily, doing little things, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen. Sacrifices should be made out of love, not out of obligation.