That seems like an extreme statement, yet, that is exactly how Paul felt for his own “kinsmen according to the flesh…Israelites” (Romans 9:1-4). As if he knew that others would doubt his deep feelings for this people group, he begins this section by affirming, “I am speaking the truth in Christ – I am not lying…that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers”.
There is one thing I am certain of; that I do not have this kind of deep heart feeling for any people group in the world. But, I want this heart. What would change in the church if we began to ask God to give us a genuine heart for the lost like Paul had? Look at how effective Paul was! His labors, his sufferings and his travels of nearly eighteen thousand miles (18,000) in ten to eleven years was a proof of the deep passion he had to carry the gospel to those who had never heard.
The economic difference between us and Paul is staggering. There were not airplanes, iPhones, computers, cars and many more conveniences we have today, but Paul’s commitment to the gospel was enough to propel him with extraordinary passion.
How can we gain the perspective for our lives? I believe the answer is found in learning the heart of God through a deep, close walk with Him. He “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).