“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 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.”
Just before my son entered into his teens, he became very sick and we found he had become a type 1 diabetic. Through those hospital days and training at Scottish Rite, I wish I could take his place. When my wife found she had breast cancer about seventeen years ago, I bargained with God – why couldn’t it be me? Over the next five years, thirteen surgeries, and over one hundred procedures my heart wanted to change places instead of Treva suffering through this journey.
Likewise, Paul wrote to the romans about the coming suffering caused by their disbelief and disobedience. His heart hurt for his people. We become followers of Christ on an individual level, not by groups or families. Faith is not inherited from your parents, it is not innately given to you by walking through the doors of a church, and it is not automatically dispensed because of your good deeds. You must trust in a one-on-one relationship in Jesus because of what He has done on the cross for me and you. Just because you were born in a garage, doesn’t make you a Ford. Others will share with you, mentor you, teach you, and guide you – but you must be the one to pray and admit that Jesus is Lord, believe that Jesus died for you, and confess you are a sinner. No one can do it for you!
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?