Wednesday, May 27

Sacrificial love

Scripture: Provers 7-9, Romans 9

Romans 9:2–3 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.

Observation

In Romans 9-11, the apostle Paul wrestles with the question of the Jewish rejection of their Messiah and His gospel. For Paul, it was a theological question, but it was also deeply personal.  Paul felt “bitter sorrow and unending grief” for his Jewish brothers and sisters.  Then he made this astonishing statement that he would be willing to lose his salvation and be cut off from Christ if that would save them!  

Does he mean this literally?  It’s hard to imagine.  It’s like saying you would be willing to die for another so they could live—only on steroids!  It’s saying you would be willing to die eternally to save them.  

Whether Paul meant this literally or not, it is clear that he cared deeply about his kinsman, so deeply that he was willing to sacrifice himself for them.

Application

Could I write something like this?  Is there anyone I care about so deeply that I would be willing to sacrifice my eternal life for them?  This is a level of love that I usually associate only with Jesus.  But Paul models it here.  

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life.”  

God’s love led to sacrifice in order to save us eternally.  Do I have that love living in me—a sacrificial love, a love that cares so deeply it is willing to sacrifice for the sake of others?  I find myself feeling annoyed at being inconvenienced—a far cry from sacrificial love.  Help!

Prayer: Lord, give me Your heart for people like you gave it to Paul.  Help to love like Jesus, like Paul—sacrificially.