Romans 9:2-3 states, “I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race.” This verse gives an insightful peak behind the veil of the apostle Paul’s life. On one hand, we might assume Paul cares deeply for the people of Israel to the point that he is in constant grief over their unbelief. This is true but doesn’t tell all of the story.

As you read through the book of Acts you notice a consistent theme. Most, not all, but most of Paul’s persecution was administered at the hands of his Jewish brothers. With this information, Romans 9 takes on a deeper revelation. Paul was grieved to the point of a willingness to be cut off from Jesus that his brothers might realize who Jesus is. This is the power of grace.

When we first begin to awaken to the reality of grace we might feel frustrated that we have been operating in performance in the past. We might think it is someone else’s fault for not telling us the truth and find ourselves frustrated with people that are just as loved and forgiven as we are. The true beauty of grace, grows us up to realize that those that have wounded or antagonized us, are just as included in God’s forgiveness, love, and favor.

They don’t get punished because of what they’ve done, just like you didn’t get punished for what you did. Jesus took the weight of sin and destroyed its fruit, which is death, upon His life, death, and resurrection. Grace begins to move us with compassion to forgive, bless, serve, and love those who have hurt us in our journey. Grace empowers us to celebrate their lives and treat them as authentic sons and daughters of God. I believe this is why Jesus said in Matthew 10, FREELY you have received, FREELY give.

We don’t charge others for what we received as a gift. We extend this message of hope, free of charge, as an announcement to what God in Christ has accomplished. Let people go, forgive them, bless them, and believe God’s best for their lives. We don’t forgive to be forgiven, we forgive because we’ve been forgiven (See Ephesians 4:32). We give out of an overflow of what we have received in Jesus. This my friends is good news!

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