My Jewish brothers and sisters ...
With Christ as my witness, I speak with utter truthfulness. My conscience and the Holy Spirit confirm it. My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ! — if that would save them. They are the people of Israel, chosen to be God’s adopted children. God revealed his glory to them. He made covenants with them and gave them his law. He gave them the privilege of worshiping him and receiving his wonderful promises. -Romans 9:1-4 NLT
This passage speaks to me about how a person can be raised in a religious environment be totally lost. All throughout the Old Testament we read of such people. The Israelites had laws, culture and environment that pointed them to God. Yet time after time they rejected God in favor of fleshly appetites. For sure there seemed to be many who were faithful but each generation of Jews seemed to find new ways to rebel against God. And ultimately they rejected God's Son.
Do you resonate with Paul's grief? Has there ever been one in your life that refused the love of God? Can you relate to the apostle's passion for souls that are lost? His words convict me of my sometimes apathetic attitude towards the people all around me. It is so easy to write people off and act indifferently towards their spiritual well being. These verses encourage us all to a renewed fervor to love the unlovable and pray for sheep that have strayed from the fold.
People need you so much Lord. They need your love. Help us to be gracious ambassadors to the lost and hurting.