First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because the news of your faith is being reported in all the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit in telling the good news about His Son, is my witness that I constantly mention you, always asking in my prayers that if it is somehow in God’s will, I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I want very much to see you, so I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
Now I want you to know, brothers, that I often planned to come to you (but was prevented until now) in order that I might have a fruitful ministry among you, just as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. So I am eager to preach the good news to you also who are in Rome.
I think we could probably all agree that the Apostle Paul is a man who is worthy of imitation. For God to inspire him somewhere to write, “follow me as I follow Christ,” and “be imitators of me;” we could deduce that God would be pleased for us to model our lives after Paul. That being said, I want us to see some ways that we should begin our imitation.
Paul loved Christians. He thanked the Lord for Christians, he prayed for Christians, he longed for fellowship with Christians, and he desired to preach the gospel to Christians.
Having Christian friends is a great blessing. I grew up as an atheist. I had a large number of friends which I very much influenced for the bad and not good. Christian friends are to influence us for good. They are to help us along as we follow Christ together. They are a gift from God to us and so we should be thankful for any Christian friends God gives us.
We should not only be thankful for these friends God gives us, but we should be daily praying for our Christian friends. We need prayer don’t we? And likewise, so do they. We should make it a daily routine to pray for our fellow soldiers of the Lord.
If we truly grasp how much a blessing it is to have Christian friends; our love to God for them will prompt us to desire fellowship with them. Paul longed to be with his friends so that both he and they could be mutually encouraged together.
Lastly, Paul preached the gospel to his friends. The gospel is not just something for the Non-Christian to believe in order to make them a Christian. The gospel is for the Christian. We need to be preaching the gospel not only to ourselves daily, but to our friends. Don’t you need to be daily reminded that you are justified by Christ alone and not by the works of the law? So too our friends need those same reminders.
- Let’s make a list together of the Christian friends that we have.
- Let’s begin by thanking the Lord for these Christian friends, praying for them, seeking opportunities to fellowship with them, and ways that we can remind them of the gospel.
- We are not only a family, but friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. The family is the primary Christian community and building block of society. Let’s put all of these principles in practice for each other.