Read the “1127 Evening and Morning“devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom [pertaineth] the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service [of God], and the promises; 5 Whose [are] the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ [came], who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 9:1 – 5)
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” (Romans 10:1)
“But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
Paul had a burden to reach all people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. He wanted to see them saved from their sins and on their way to Heaven. He loved all people and preached Christ to everyone, but he especially had a concern for the people of Israel. In chapter nine above, he made an incredible statement. He said that he was willing, if it were possible, to be “accursed from Christ,” if it could somehow save the Jewish people. Of course, it was not possible for Paul to exchange his salvation for theirs, but I think we see his heart concerning the people that he loves here.
I must confess that I have often had a more cavalier attitude toward those who are lost. I don’t ever remembering consciously wishing that I could go to Hell in the place of someone else. However, at the heart of the gospel there should be a willingness to sacrifice, because that is the nature of Christ. In Matthew 9:36 (above) we see Jesus’ compassion on Israel because of their lost condition. To be “moved with compassion” means that He wept over them. Christ is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9), and “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 1:4). Jesus, however, was the only One who could actually take our place, and He did so by dying on the Cross for our sins.
As we begin to think about the coming New Year, let us ask the Lord to help us be more compassionate, and have more of a burden for the lost world around us. There are so many people out there who need Christ and so little time left to reach them. I once heard a missionary say that everything we do as Christians we could do better in Christ’s presence in Heaven. However, the one thing that we cannot do after the Lord brings us home to Heaven is reach lost people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That we can only do while we are still here. We need to get busy.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 3 comments.