Tuesday, December 1

Sacrificial love

Scripture: Romans 9-12

Romans 9:1–3 With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. 2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.

Romans 10:1 Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved.

Observation

I pause when I read Paul’s statement in verse 3: “I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.”  Paul was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his people, willing to give not only his life but his eternity to save them.  I thought of:

Romans 5:6–8 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

Most people are not willing to die for another.  It requires great love, and Christ had that love for us.  Paul had that love for his people.

Application

Do I have that love for others?  Paul was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice; what sacrifice am I willing to make?  Am I willing to sacrifice my convenience, my reputation, my comfort, my time, my money?  How much do I love?  

Honestly, in light of Paul’s statement, I feel small and selfish.  I’m not sure I could say what Paul said; I certainly haven’t done what Paul did, made the kinds of sacrifices to share the gospel that Paul made.  His statement challenges me to love more deeply.

Prayer: Lord, fill me with Your love, a love that is willing to give all for others so that they can know You and be saved.