I am speaking the truth; I belong to Christ and I do not lie. My conscience, ruled by the Holy Spirit, also assures me that I am not lying when I say how great is my sorrow, how endless the pain in my heart for my people, my own flesh and blood! For their sake I could wish that I myself were under God’s curse and separated from Christ. (verses 1-3)
Read Romans 9:1-18
What love Paul had for his fellow citizens! He longed for their eternal welfare. He wanted them to know God’s love in Christ, even to the point where he was filled with sorrow and anguish over them.
Paul’s love for Israel reflects God’s love for all people. God went to great lengths for your sake, to secure your eternal welfare. Like a doting parent, God suffered sorrow and anguish over you, even before you were born. His love is shown in Jesus, who was accursed, cut off from his heavenly glory, when he died on the cross for you. But, thankfully, his death means that nobody, including Paul, need ever be cut off from God’s love in Christ.
Lord Jesus, into your hands I place those who have not yet welcomed you r love for them. You love them even more than I do. Turn their hearts to welcome your gracious gift of salvation. Amen.
by Simon Cooper, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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