Romans 9: 1-3. I’ve blogged about it before, but I’m going to do it again. I really like this verse. It’s probably my number one favorite verse. I think it captures the kind of agape love Jesus tells us to have. It’s also something that I can relate to. There are days where my whole day is wrecked because there are people I love, friends I care about, family I treasure and I know they don’t love Jesus. Francis Chan says it so well when he says there is nothing I can do. It doesn’t matter how flashy or talented of a speaker I am, how many books I get people to read, how many bible verses I quote, or how many debates I win, I can not change the status of a person’s heart. I can’t convince them to love Jesus, only His Holy Spirit can. Don’t get me wrong, I have joy in Christ. There are days I’m bursting at the seams because it’s so amazing that I can have a relationship with the wise, gracious, too big for words, God of the universe. But when I think of what the people I care about are missing out on and debating about in classrooms, and that with out Jesus they will spend forever in complete torment, the ceaseless anguish in my heart kicks in. It’s times like this that I don’t understand how, as a Christian, I can be so nonchalant about the gospel. There are people who say they’re Christian, but I can tell they literally don’t get it. Romans 9:1-3 says, “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.” I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how the Old Testaments really clicks when you look for Jesus. So that’s what I did with this passage, and it made complete sense when I did. Paul is saying he would be cut off from Christ so his kinsmen could have a relationship with Jesus, it tears his heart apart that they aren’t in a relationship with Him. Jesus was cut off from the Father as He hung on the cross, so His kinsmen could have a relationship with the Father. I think that Jesus has great sorrow and unceasing anguish in His heart because of His love, and because Paul was filled with His Spirit that gave Him the same sorrow, anguish and love. If we’re filled with the Holy Spirit shouldn’t we have a similar love for the people around us? Here is a video from my favorite pastor talking about my favorite bible verse, he gets kind of emotional but his message is good. Does our love exceed the low standards of a culture that doesn’t understand the concept, or does our love look like the unconditional agape love of the bible?
That is a great question that I dare you to answer to yourself. How much do you love?