Romans 10:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
Israel Needs the Gospel
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
What is your heart's desire? Your prayer, or goal?
--Consider the Apostle Paul's, "My heart's desire.. and prayer to God .. is that they may be saved."
--"Be saved" (v 1, 9, 10, 13). His people. Everyone!
That is a holy love like unto our Lord and Savior.
--For "God so loved the world," Jesus came from heaven to a cross, so we may be ever with Him.
--It was Paul's "heart's desire and prayer to God."
--And it is mine, above all other prayers.
Paul prays for all, but especially Israel, who had a great religion - the Law, sacrifices, rituals - all which spoke of a coming Messiah. Jesus fulfills.
--Israel gave us the Bible. Monotheism. Messiah.
--They gave much good. But Messiah had now come!
--What the Law, sacrifices could not do, Jesus did!
--"God came!" As Man. Sinless, to pay for our sin.
--A sacrifice superior to all. And, Jesus arose!
Israel had religion - like so many today - but were not saved. Not "God's righteousness .. their own."
--No matter how good, religion does not save!
--Or else Jesus suffered and died in vain - for Jesus is "The Way, Truth, and Life; no one comes to the Father except through (Him)." (John 14:6).
--Paul wants us all to know this Truth, and be "..born again" as Jesus invites us all in John Chapter 3.
Paul said, "My heart's desire .. is that they may be saved." Anyone. Everyone. Forgiven, for heaven.
--All can be saved, who open their heart to Jesus.
--His sacrifice at Calvary exceeds all others.
--If anyone could not be saved Paul would not have so prayed "that they all may be saved," in Jesus.
--Paul had a Valentine's love, for all people.
A happy couple awaited their first child in January - as we did, and rushed to the hospital, in snow!
--All went well, a boy; they gave thanks together.
--As he left he told his tired wife, "Look for a message in the snow, in the morning." She rejoiced.
--Next morning, a huge Valentine was in the snow.
--A big heart, outlined, and in the center the words "I Love You," She saw this work of her husband.
--Many at the hospital commented on how thoughtful.
These words, "I Love You," need expressing so often.
God shows His love to us in ever so many ways daily.
--He has us on His holy heart of love, for us all.
--Let's put the Lord, first, on our heart.
--Then, let it multiply, reaching out to encourage others with words of cheer, and acts of kindness.
The Word of God speaks often of the human heart.
--"God knows our hearts" we read in Luke 16:15.
--Look what Jesus said, of those who give lip service but "their heart is far from Me" (Matthew 15:18).
--The Lord "looks at the heart" (I Samuel 16:7).
--"Where your treasure is, there your heart will be," Jesus declares in Matthew 6:21.
--I like this verse, "Let not your heart be troubled you believe in God, believe also in Me" (John 14).
--Or this from Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things ..." That is, the unsaved one.
During a heart surgery a surgeon asked, "Who is the most important person in this operating room?"
--"I suppose it is you, as you operate," an assistant replied, "and those assisting."
--The surgeon shook his head, "No, the most important individual in this room .. is the patient."
All are important but more important is the Lord God.
--Powerful though unseen. Ever seek His presence.
--Jesus promised, "I will never leave .. nor forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5). God never has! Never will!
Is it a wonder Paul wanted all to know the Savior?
You may say, "Well, God's forgotten me. Things not going well at my house," and we even may blame God.
--My dear friend, troubles come to us all - and maybe we have not been as close to God as we should.
--Often adversities are assets. Troubles can bless.
--These God can use to woo us back close to Christ.
--Left to ourselves, we easily drift away from God.
Disappointments, discouragement, depression, come.
--We all share it with family, friends, why not God?
--Why not come penitently, humbly, to the Lord?
--Don't feel you are troubling God with your hurts!
--He's big enough to handle the sins and hurts of the whole world. Jesus said, "Come unto Me, all you."
--Why not let Him decide, and show us, what's best?
--Personally, He can do a better job than any of us.
Romans 10 shows Paul with a broken heart for others.
--He had been a persecutor of Jesus' followers.
--Now Paul was willing to be persecuted, for Christ.
--To suffer for bringing the gospel, to others.
--Even counting it "all joy to suffer" for Jesus.
--He evangelized thousands in his day, wrote 13 letters of the 27 New Testament books of the Bible.
--He cries, "My heart's desire and prayer to God..."
What is your "heart's desire?" For a pure heart?
--Does it mean enough to surrender all, and to seek the will of the Lord? To try to win some to Him?
--Our prayers should be personal, he says, "My ..."
--"My" is very personal, passionate - "My .. desire."
--He longed, above all, "..that they may be saved."
He writes, "They have a zeal for God .. but seek their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God" (v 3). Seek a submissive heart.
--How many today want to follow "their own way" they think is right, when we need to go God's way.
--What the Law, all the animal sacrifices, and good works could not do, Jesus did, by His cross.
--And being "raised again" to resurrected life anew.
Changed, Paul nowhas a loving heart, for his Lord.
--Not only for God, but a loving heart for others.
--He knew all the Messianic prophecies were fulfilled in Christ, when "God so loved the world..."
I wonder, how is our heart, love and witness for God?
--Some say, "Isn't it enough to just believe in God?"
--It depends on which God, of many, you believe in.
--You say, "I thought there was only one God."
--That's right - only One, True, Living God, who is revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
--A loving God. A God who gives life, not take it.
--A Holy God. Sinless, pure. Arose from the dead.
--A mighty God. Able to save, and do miracles.
--A merciful God. "..whose mercy endures forever."
--The God Jesus revealed, by a cross and empty tomb.
--People worship many, but none compares, to Jesus!
A God of life. Of love. Of joy. Grace. Peace.
--One able to guide you and me aright, my friend.
--A God who has a plan "for good" for all people.
--"..Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11)
--Jeremiah goes on, "When you pray to Me, I will listen .. you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:12f).
The wonderful thing, Jesus is the available Savior - available to all people, at all times, 24/7.
--But the actual Savior and God of believers in Him.
--That is what Jesus came for, Paul prayed for.
--For all to live - even the unborn! - in Jesus.
A Christian wife had an abusing, drinking husband.
--She prayed for him, for he had no time for Jesus, the Bible, Sunday School, Church - just himself.
--Calm and gentle, she lived the life, returned good for his evil; the meaner he, the kinder was she!
--In time that husband was "born again." Changed!
--Be patient. Winsome. Faithful. God cares.
We all need a "burning heart" for the Lord as these disciples Easter afternoon, walking to Emmaus.
--They were down-cast, sad, confused - saw Jesus on the cross, but not aware Jesus had "risen!"
--So Jesus drew near, talked with them, "opened the Scriptures" and explained all these happenings.
--They said, "Did not our heart burn within us, as He talked .. and opened the Scriptures to us" (Luke 24:32). The Risen Lord was revealed to them.
--Let Him bless your heart!
Wilbert D. Gough, Th.D., D.D. 810