Do We Have a Burden?
Romans 9:1-3 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
What consumes our thoughts? What occupies our heart? What do we care most deeply about? Sadly, I think we often are filled more with thoughts of ourselves, desires for pleasure and possessions, and cares of this life than a concern for the lost.
Paul here expresses his honest concern for lost Israelites. He said that he had a great heaviness and a continual sorrow in his heart for his lost brothers. This burden is something that is like a great weight upon him. The sadness he feels over their lost condition is like being in continually mourning.
Paul is not playing a game or exaggerating. He says that this is “the truth in Christ” and his “conscience also [bore him] witness in the Holy Ghost.” He is completely serious and knows that God knows His heart. This burden is something that really did keep him up at night and really weighed on his heart!
May we confess our sin of thinking only of ourselves and of not caring for the lost. We need God to work in our hearts, to break our hearts, and to use us to do something to reach the lost for Him.