Romans 9:1-29; 1 Samuel 17:55-18:30; Psalm 63
The commercial that a lot of people have parodied in recent years asks, “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” Then, they have people do all kinds of strange things just to get a specific ice cream bar. I guess they do that because it’s too hard to walk to the store to buy one – who knows? Paul answers a much more serious “What would you do…?” question: “What would you do to share the gospel with the people of Israel?” “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises.” (Romans 9:3-4) Paul would not only be willing to sacrifice his physical life, but his eternal life as well. He noted all the advantages they had with God, but deep down you can tell his lament: “What ain’t they got? They ain’t got Christ!” I think of my own commitment and my own desires as I read Paul’s words. I can honestly say that I would go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel. I can say that I would be willing to give my life so that someone could hear the gospel message, repent, and restore their relationship with God. I don’t know if I could say that I would be willing to be separated from Christ if the people in the nations I have visited would come to Christ as a result. Fortunately, that’s not a choice I would have to make. Paul’s hyperbole here is convicting. What would I do to bring other people to Christ? Why do I set limits?
Dear God, there are so many people that I know who need to restore their relationship with You. I can’t imagine saying with Paul that I would be willing to be cut off from You if that means that they would come to You. Give me the grace and strength to do what I need to, to endure whatever hardships may come my way as a result of my desire and commitment to draw others to You.