October 15, 2021 - Romans 9:1-13
It has been stated the most challenging discussion of spiritual truths are with those whom you care for deeply. When you trust Christ as your Savior, friends and family are bound to see differences and question the reason for the changes. At these times, doors of opportunity open to share our relationship with Christ. Yet, the fear of rejection or ridicule keep us from conversing with our loved ones.
Paul takes just the opposite view as he changes his tone from the exclamation of Christ's sovereignty and preserving power to that of sorrow and grief. The Israelites still were not obedient to the word of God (v.6). They all had not received the promise that had been given to them and this brought Paul consternation and angst. He had been commissioned by Christ to go to the Gentiles but his heartbeat was passionate for his own people and their spiritual condition.
The zeal was so intense that he states, "For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh," (v. 3). Paul could not bear the thought that his people who were the adopted ones by God (Exodus 4:22-23), would be accursed and rejected by Him. This thought led him to consider asking God to curse him so his countrymen might be accepted.
Like Paul, many of us have been led away from families and friends to minister to others. The Lord has used our obedience to bring people to Christ and to show many the ways of the Lord. Yet, there remains a portion of family, relatives, friends from our past that still need the Lord. Do we have the passion that Paul is demonstrating in these verses? Do our hearts cringe and our spirits cry out when we think of loved ones without Christ?
May each of us be reminded of God's love toward our loved ones: 1 John 4:8 & 10, "God is love; In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son..."; John 3:16 "For God so loved the world..."; Isaiah 55:6-7 "Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon."
In spite of the hatred, rejection and attempts upon his life, Paul continually interceded for his people. May we have a heart like Paul and continually pray for those nearest to us to come to the Lord for salvation!