In the Bible Study that I attend every Thursday evening we study God's holy Word and spend time in fellowship and praise and worship of the Lord our Savior. AMEN! Right now though we are going through the book of 1 Thessalonians and boy what a study it has been. Something that continues to pop up in this study time and time again is the Apostle Paul's love of the brethren and his desire to see souls saved.
Tonight we finished 1 Thessalonians 2:17- 3:13. In these verses we see Paul's heart for the church of the Thessalonians. How he longed to see them, to know how they were doing in the faith and how he prayed for them and desired for them to grow in the Lord.
It reminded me of a piece of scripture I was studying not too long ago out of the book of Romans chapter 9. This is yet another piece of scripture where we get the opportunity to see Paul's love of others and his longing to fulfill the call from God to spread the Gospel to all men.
In Romans 9:3 It says; "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:"
In the context of this scripture Paul is referring to Israel. His brethren in the flesh and goes on to prove that in the next verse. Also I want to point out what exactly it is he is saying here. The word "accursed" here in simplest terms, I believe, is the same as saying "Separated." So what Paul is revealing here about himself is that he had such a burden for souls that if he could he would wish to be "separated" from Christ, from God, completely for the sake of others.
Now, in application for us as Christians, (and as you can see salvation in our own life is key to this passage because of Romans 9:1), we should have the same burden for souls that Paul had. So much so, that we would be willing to be separated from God ourselves for the sake of souls coming to a saving knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. That is a great challenge for anyone and everyone. For not only are we commanded of God to be witnesses, we should count it a great privilege to share Christ with all we meet.
As my last point to share with you, Reader, is this... In the heart of Paul in this passage we also see Christ and what He did on Calvary. In Matthew 27:46 and again in Mark 15:34 we are seeing Christ's crucifixion and he says"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" which being interpreted is "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The reason he spoke those words is if you look in the previous verses it describes a darkness that came over the land. What happened is that Christ, in dying on the cross, he took on the sins of the whole world. God being holy and righteous could not look down on Christ with those sins. He, (Jesus Christ), in that moment became "separated" from God the Father because he became the sacrifice for sin. In this we see the Gospel message that Paul was so adamant that others should know. That they would not reject the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ so much so to the point he would give up his own life for them, and not only his physical life but his spiritual life in Christ for the salvation of others.
How many of us can say that we have a self- sacrificing love for souls like that and not only say it but live it?
" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer