"My conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit that there is great grief and constant pain in my heart." —Romans 9:1-2
Paul was in pain. There was "great grief and constant pain" in his heart. This "heart-attack" came not because Paul didn't get his way or someone had offended him. (Such are the things many of us cry over.) His pain came because his kinsmen the Israelites did not know Jesus personally.
Paul was so concerned about the Jews' salvation he "could even wish to be separated from Christ" for their sake (Rm 9:3). Paul said he'd go to hell if it would help the Jews go to heaven. The salvation of the Jewish people and all people was Paul's overriding concern in life. He did all that he did for the sake of spreading the gospel (1 Cor 9:23). He made himself "all things to all men in order to save at least some of them" (1 Cor 9:22). He made himself "the slave of all so as to win over as many as possible" (1 Cor 9:19).
How badly do we want all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth? (see 1 Tm 2:4) What causes our pain? What would we be willing to do to lead a person to Jesus? We will be powerful evangelizers when we want to be.
Prayer: Father, like Jesus, may I love people so much that I will be willing to die for the eternal salvation of one person.
Promise: "So Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water, moving toward Jesus." —Mt 14:29
Praise: Praise You, risen Jesus! You want all to be saved and to come to know the truth (1 Tm 2:4). Thank You for revealing to us the heart of a loving Savior.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Mission Impossible or our audio tape AV 46-1 or video V-46.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 1, 2011
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