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Romans 9

“I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— 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, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Romans 9:1

Paul was a Hebrew in every sense of the word and he had great love for his people. So much so that he was willing to die for them. Paul was deeply embedded in the Jewish community; he participated in the holy days and experienced the holy sacrifices. No doubt, he sang psalms with his people—psalms of joy and psalms of heartache. Not only was Paul’s community a people of God but he was also schooled in the Rabbinical institutions. There the law was taught and memorized. He embraced every letter, for each one had a meaning; a meaning of holiness and great revelation.

Interestingly, the Jewish community disliked him. In fact, many despised him because he had become a heretic. The Jewish nation believed that Jesus was a blasphemer, guilty of making himself equal with God. Now Paul (formerly Saul of Tarsus), had gone rogue. He took up the very emblem of blasphemy against his own kinsman and they hated him for it.

Nevertheless, Paul had a heart for his people, despite their ill will towards him. Because Paul deeply loved his people, he wanted them to discover the revelation that set him free, that Jesus was the promised Messiah.

Have you made this decision to go rogue against the world? They will despise you for it. You will be scorned. Be not afraid, for the Lord is with you and will never forsake you—no matter what.