If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
There are heaps of things that can be pulled from these verses, but the one I want to focus on today is that it's not about you. It's not about me. It's not even about us. It's about God, the root.
We are naturally very proud. When something goes right for us, we like to take the glory ourselves. For example, even though I know it is not true, I sometimes find myself thinking that I'm better than other people and that's why God saved me. No, in reality I am far worse than a whole heap of people. The only difference is that I'm saved by grace. There's nothing in us that makes us worth saving. God does it to show forth his glory.
The passage in Romans is directed at the Gentiles, warning them against pride. The Jews had rejected Jesus, and therefore they had been "cut off", and the Gentiles had been "grafted in". Paul is warning them against the mentality of pride, which says - "The Jews were cut off so we could be put in". No, in reality the Jews (as a nation) were cut off because they did not believe and they rejected God's salvation. It has nothing to do with us.
We like to think that everything is about us, and I think that's because everything in our culture (at least here in Australia) is telling me that it's all about Me. Because I'm worth it. No, in reality I'm not worth it - you're not worth it. We're vile sinners.
Something needs to change: We need to stop thinking that it's all about ourselves and we need to start putting our focus on God. It's a hard battle, because we constantly shift back to ourselves. We constantly, subtly get proud again and we don't even notice until we've fallen into the trap again. That's what I find at least.
Here are a few verses to consider in the light of all this:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
All glory to God! (Easy to say, much harder to actually give it all to him)