1 I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— 2 I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, 4 the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5 Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
This prayer of Paul's was very striking to me this morning. Verse 3 really caught me off guard. Wow, Paul had so much passion for his own people that he wished he were cursed and cut off from Christ in order for Israel's eyes to be open to the promises of God. What Christ follower would ever be willing to say that and mean it? Honestly, I have never felt that in my own heart.
But, what if....what if we really had that kind of compassion? What if we were willing to go to hell so that many would believe and have eternal life? What if we had that kind of drive? What if our heart hurt for the lost that much? How would we live differently? How much more would we share the Good News? What if......?
Paul is not trying to bring attention to himself and say look at me and how spiritual I am. I honestly think that He was willing to give up his own eternal security if it meant that his people would come to know Jesus and love. Wow, wow, wow!
What a challenge to us to love that big?! What a challenge to us to get our eyes off our self and on to the desperate lost?! What a challenge Paul brings to us this morning to love like Christ?! Later, in Paul's life we see that he was willing to give his earthly life for his love of Christ as he was killed for his faith. Am I that willing????
I want to love the lost that BIG!