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.
Do you have someone in your family or among your friends who does not know Jesus or trust in Him? I think most of us do. And how much grief that causes us, to love them and wish the best for them—and be completely unable to change that situation.
The apostle Paul is facing that grief in our passage for today. He has spent years preaching and teaching people about Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles alike; and he has seen a lot of people come to faith in Jesus. What wonderful joy that brings! But he has also seen a lot of people reject Jesus, including the ones to whom he feels the closest—his own relatives and countrymen, the descendants of Israel. If being damned himself would help them, Paul would volunteer. But of course it won't; God deals with people as individuals, and He doesn't make deals.
So what is left for Paul to do? What is left for us, who love non-Christians? Simply this: To go on loving them, through everything we say or plan or do. To treat them with great respect, as Paul does in this letter. To continue to share our faith with them in gentleness and respect, when the Holy Spirit gives us the opportunity. And to pray that God, who loves them even more than we do, will open the door for them to recognize and trust in Jesus, their Savior.
This is our hope, isn't it? We know that God loves them so much He lay down His own life for them on the cross, to make them His own beloved children. The fact that they don't yet believe doesn't change that great act of love. And if God has loved them that much, we can be sure He won't give up on them. Neither should we. Let's continue to show them that love in everything we do and say, following the Lord who loves us and them the same—and who calls us all to be His own.
WE PRAY: Dear Father, please bless [names of those you're concerned for here] and help me to love them. And bring them to faith in Your Son Jesus. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. Whom do you pray for, that they might come to trust in Jesus?
2. How can you show God's love for them through your daily interactions?
3. If you don't know any non-Christians, how can you get to know some?
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