Paul’s Motivation – Love

Today’s Passages – Romans 8 – 10; Proverbs 27

(Second Milers also read – Psalms 131 – 135)

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:” – (Romans 9:1-3)

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” – (Romans 10:1)

Did you ever think about the reason why people like the Apostle had such passion and motivation for preaching the gospel? Did they do simply out of obedience to the call of God? Or, perhaps was there an underlying cause that pushed men like Paul. I believe the answer to that question for Paul can be seen in the verses above. Paul loved his people, Israel. I do not believe that he was just “blowing smoke” when he said that he was willing to give up his own salvation if that were possible in order that Israel be saved. Paul was not acting out of mere duty and obedience. There is no way that Paul could have endured all of the beatings and imprisonments unless there was a burning desire within him to see his nation saved. In fact, I believe Paul’s love for his people caused him at one point to disobey God. If you carefully study Paul’s last trip to Jerusalem in the Book of Acts you will find that God warned Paul twice not to go to Jerusalem (see Acts 21:4 & 11); and we he got there Jesus told him to leave (see Acts 22:17 & 18). Paul actually argued with the Lord about it. Now I do not believe God ever wants us to be disobedient, but at least Paul’s contention with the Lord was because of his desire to see the Jews saved.

How much do you and I love the people around us? How much do we care about their salvation? What sacrifices will we be willing to make in order that the people that we love receive the truth? We have very few Apostle Pauls on the scene today who are pouring themselves out in the work of God. Perhaps it is because we are too self-centered, loving ourselves far more than we love others. Whatever the reason, we can certainly see that our evangelistic efforts today are not reaping the same type of results that Paul saw in his day. Maybe this is what the Psalmist was trying to tell us in Psalm 126:

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” – (Psalm 126:5-6)

Our lack of tears is indicative of our lack of love for the people around us. We need more people today who will be willing to lay their own lives on the line in order to reach their world with the Gospel. Paul literally laid his life down as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). We could use a few more living sacrifices in our world today.

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