READING: Romans 8-10
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: I’m a professor of evangelism, but I still wonder about the depth of my concern over lost people around me. The friend who led me to the Lord more than 40 years ago so loved me that he shared Christ with me every day for almost nine months. His desire for me to be saved was so great that he simply did not back off until God saved me. Honesty demands that I ask if I love others today in that same way.
As I read in today’s text Paul’s deep longing for his kinsmen to be saved, that challenge becomes even greater for me:
Rom. 10:1 “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation.”
Rom. 9:2-3 “I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart. For I could almost wish to be cursed and cut off from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my own flesh and blood.”
Read those verses again. We’re accustomed to praying for the salvation of lost people, but Paul even said he would wish to be accursed himself so that his people might know Christ. That wasn’t possible, of course, for only Jesus could pay the price for our sins — but the depth of emotion in this verse is nonetheless real. Paul would have been willing to give up his own salvation for the sake of others.
That’s a hard word. It’s gripping. It challenges me to my core. It convicts me that I don’t care as much as I should.
Please pray for me.
ACTION STEPS: Evaluate the concern of your heart today based on Paul’s burden.
PRAYER: “Lord, forgive me when I don’t care like I should. Break my heart again over lostness — even to the point of personal sacrifice.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Romans 11-13