Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation. (Romans 10:1)
At the beginning of chapter 10, we see Paul’s heart for fellow Jewish brothers and sisters to come to salvation in Jesus Christ. At the end of Romans 9, Paul said that Gentiles were coming to faith in Jesus because they realized their works wouldn’t gain them righteousness in God’s eyes. However, the Jews were stumbling over the stumbling stone of a works-based, law-driven righteousness. In this first section of chapter 10, Paul stressed that righteousness in God’s eyes comes through faith in Jesus Christ.
We have listened to sermons and Sunday school lessons on righteousness that comes through faith in Christ. We have learned this in our daily readings and meditating on God’s word. But I want to challenge all of us today to think of those we know and love who have not received Jesus into their life. Do we have a heart like Paul’s, which genuinely desires and even breaks for those around us who have not received Christ? Paul’s desire for those around him led him into action. What was this action? He prayed and pleaded to God for these people’s salvation.
Let’s remember that God can work in the hardest of hearts who are opposed to Jesus. God was able to bring Paul to repentance and then used Paul to win Jews and Gentiles to Jesus. Instead of giving up on those who are opposed to Jesus, let’s resolve each day to pray for these people to come and know Jesus. Let’s be specific in our prayers. Don’t just pray for people’s problems to disappear. Don’t just pray that they would be good, law abiding people. Let’s plead with God that people would find salvation in Christ alone. Let’s pray that God would do whatever it takes to bring more people to Jesus. Let’s pray that people would not be deceived into finding salvation outside of Jesus. Then when God answers our prayers and people do receive Christ, let’s promise to give all the glory and praise to God for changing people’s hearts and drawing these people to His Son, Jesus, by faith and faith alone.