Romans 9:1-2 (NLT): With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. 2 My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters.[a] I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them.
I know I’ve written a lot about compassion lately, but I can’t seem to get away from it.
Think about Paul’s statement for it for a minute. Would you willing to go to hell to save your own kids? For your neighbors? For those who do you wrong? I am serious; really think about it.
Most of us would quickly say “yes,” to going to hell for our kids, but I will be honest and say I had to really think on it for a minute or two. Does this make me a bad mother? Maybe. If it took me a minute or two to decide on what I would do when it came to my own children, it will not surprise you to know that I would not be willing to do so for my neighbors or strangers. Does this make me a bad Christian? I didn’t think so, but after reading Romans 9, I am not so sure. One thing is for sure, Paul had such compassion for his fellow Jews that it caused him unending grief and he would have given up his relationship for Christ so that his brothers and sisters would be saved! Now that is love.
Paul was not alone.
Steven not only showed great love for his neighbors, he showed great compassion in the midst of his own murder toward his own killers.
Acts 7:54-60 (NLT): 54 The Jewish leaders were infuriated by Stephen’s accusation, and they shook their fists at him in rage.[m] 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw the glory of God, and he saw Jesus standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand.56 And he told them, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing in the place of honor at God’s right hand!”
57 Then they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him 58 and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.[n]
59 As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 He fell to his knees, shouting, “Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!” And with that, he died.
Wow, what compassion!. I don’t know about you all, but when someone harms me, “don’t charge them with this sin,” is the last thing out of my mouth. No, more often than not, I am looking for their blood. I want them to pay. I want God to make them pay.
We can’t forget about the ultimate sacrifice or the greatest demonstration of love and compassion. We all know what I am talking about. The crucifixion of Christ. God was willing to sacrifice His own son so that we all might be saved. Christ was willing to go to the cross because He loved us and wanted us to have a right relationship with His father.
Luke 23:34 (NLT): Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.
Once again, compassion is shown for those who not only have done wrong, but whose actions caused death. The very death of the one pleading!
Dear Lord, I want to have that same compassion. I want to love like Paul, Stephen, and Jesus. I don’t want to waste another minute on my selfish desires. I want to live my life proclaiming Your good news so that others will come to know you as well. Not that I may be glorified, but that You be glorified and others will be spared an eternity in hell. Lord, hear my cries and give me the heart for the wounded, sick, and lost, and give me the abilities and gifts to heal and minister to them as well. Help me to remember that Hell is real and that I must be so compelled that not one be lost. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray, AMEN!
Let us use this day to minister (share the good news of Jesus Christ) to someone who is lost, lonely, or hurting.
Until next time, stay safe and God bless,