Romans 9: 2-3
I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people.
This chapter is generally regarded as one of the most confusing chapters of Romans to interpret, and plenty of brilliant theological minds have disagreed about what Paul means when he describes “God’s sovereign choice”. Some people argue that this chapter teaches predestination, while others argue that this chapter is more about God’s choice to include Gentiles into salvation. However, I think that there is one thing that is valuable for Christians of every stripe, and that is Paul’s attitude towards his unsaved Jewish brothers and sisters. He uses words like “great sorrow” and “unceasing anguish” to describe how he feels about his people whom he dearly loves not knowing Jesus.
Kirk Cameron, an American Christian actor once said, “If you had the cure to cancer, wouldn’t you share it? You have the cure to death… get out there and share it.” How often do I feel unceasing anguish for the people in my life that I love who don’t know Jesus? Our love for Christ should motivate us to share His Gospel, but so should our love for others. How much does it bother me that there are people in my life who do not know the life-giving truth that Jesus is Lord and died for our sins, particularly when those people are family or friends? Paul here says that sometimes he feels like he wishes he could give everything for the sake of others coming to know Christ, how often is that my attitude?
Lord, thank you for the way you have first loved us. Thank you for your Gospel, which breathes life into my life and into me. Lord, let my concern for those around me, and those I love in my life who don’t know you increase. Lord, would you give me opportunities to share your truth and your message in small and big ways, and give me the power and wisdom to act according to your will. Thank you for your faithfulness.