This passage was from last week and Jim Sellers gave a great devotion. I would like for us to concentrate on these verses again. This is a burdening truth!
1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Have you ever driven a stick shift/manual transmission/straight drive vehicle? Basically, it is a car where you have to change gears. My grandfather had a Ford truck, three speed on the column (google it) that I learned to drive at 12 years old. Fun times!
Well, in chapter 9 Paul changes gears quickly. In chapter 8 he is joyful in thinking of Christ, but in Chapter 9 he is broken hearted in thinking of family. Furthermore, Paul seemed to indicate earlier that he disliked the Israelites, but in chapter 9, he proved otherwise. Like the Tin Man with no heart, it turns out Paul had one after all.
In the beginning of the chapter, Paul obviously had a crushed heart when he thought about his lost family. He devoted his entire life to the salvation of lost souls.
Paul seems to be urgent, because he knew that there are only three places where people live: Heaven, hell and earth. If people do not surrender their lives to Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, they will go to hell.
Paul was so burdened that he offered to take his kins place in hell. Obviously, he could not take their place. But he knew he could spend the life that he had on earth telling people about Jesus.
The day is coming when Jesus is going to take His children home and everyone who is lost will be left behind. Will that be someone you love? One by one, they are forgetting God, leaving home, passing away and it is time to become extreme about our witness and desire for their salvation.
Is your heart broken for your family and friends who do not know Jesus Christ?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?