(Written by: Carson Slater)
“I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying; my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my countrymen, my kinsmen according to the flesh…” Romans 9:1-3 (NASB2020)
I remember first reading these words, thinking, “What should I get out of this passage?” I was a sophomore in high school in a theology class, and we were tasked to memorize an entire chapter of the book of Romans. Although I ended up choosing to memorize Romans 10, this passage stuck with me. Paul possessed so much love and compassion toward his fellow Jewish kinsmen, that he himself was grieved over their denial of Jesus, with a willingness to sacrifice himself for their sake.
That same year I went on a mission trip to southern Romania, where I met people who embody this principle through vocational missions. God had provided a tangible example in my life of local Romanian missionaries whose hearts ached with a longing to see their communities come to know Jesus.
I personally have changed a lot since that mission trip, and as I walk with the Lord, I have seen this love and compassion I ought to possess fluctuating in my heart. There have been seasons where this love burns with intensity in my heart, driving my eagerness to step into gospel conversation, and there have been seasons where this love for the not-yet-saved has dwindled, resulting in timidity.
Before May, I was in a dwindling phase. Lately, I have been led by the Holy Spirit to deliberately engage with others at my internship. Until two days ago, I knew none of my peers, but I have been able step into spiritual conversations with them. I have this new sense of urgency to share Jesus with them, and write this blog as an encouragement to the reader but more for myself to continue to pursue these conversations, after stepping into friendship and spiritual conversations.
Now that we are moving toward the trip to the Czech Republic, I pray that I may have this similar aching and grieving as Paul has, not merely trying to share the gospel for the sake of “winning souls,” but because they, like I once was, are lost, and desperately need hope. People I rub shoulders with every day do not know Jesus. However, God deeply desires to bring them into His fold, and that is reason enough for me to look upon them with love and tenderness as Christ did.
How has God stirred your heart lately for the not-yet-saved? How might He be calling you to take action?
- Finalizing purchasing lists for sports, English, and workshops.
- Effective coordination with team from LifePoint church in Nevada
- The Family Bible Church team will reflect unity and the love of Jesus
- Czech students will come to a personal relationship with Jesus
- Health for the team
- Financial support.