“Who Keeps You Up at Night?” – Romans 9:1-5

Romans 9:1-5

“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. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.”

Many of us know the pain of seeing someone we love make an unwise decision that will cause painful consequences for them down the road. Part of that pain involves the realization of what they will miss out on or what might be closed off to them due to their chosen path. When it’s someone we deeply care about, our attitude isn’t one of smugness, expressed in a “You’ll see,” or “I can’t wait to say I told you so.” Instead, it’s a burden that keeps us up at night.  

Paul had such a burden for his fellow Jews. They had the privilege of getting the first invite into a brand new covenant. It was foreshadowed for millennia in their sacred writings and traditions, extolled by their prophets, and priests, and considered their birthright as the chosen people of God. And somehow, it was packaged in a way that many of them didn’t see coming, through a messiah that didn’t fit their expectations. It was too different from the comfort of the old covenant. So they passed on the offer. They were missing out on the one thing they had been looking forward to since their inception as a people. They were stuck in a covenant that was no longer valid. 
And Paul was devastated for them. His grief took him to the point where he was willing to trade places with them. He would suffer the pain and cursed consequences, if only they would choose the right path. 
Would that we had such a burden for the people around us – the people in our family, the people we wave to as we leave our neighborhoods, the people next to us at the grocery store, the gym, or at work. 

While using the HEAR method (see below) consider the following questions: 

  • Are you losing sleep over any of the people in your life that haven’t taken advantage of what our loving God has offered? 
  • What would it look like if we had such a burden? How would it play out in our day-to-day? 
  • Take some time to pray that God would awaken a burden in you for the people that He has put in your life.  

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?
Jon Price, Associate Pastor
Photo by Jeremy Lishner on Unsplash

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