And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another. But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation; but as it is written,
“ They who had no news of Him shall see,
And they who have not heard shall understand.”
For this reason I have often been prevented from coming to you; but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you whenever I go to Spain —for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while — but now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things. Therefore, when I have finished this, and have put my seal on this fruit of theirs, I will go on by way of you to Spain. I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
The Apostle Paul was longing to go to Rome to see the fellow believers and to be refreshed by their fellowship. Yet he knew that God had not allowed him to go thus far because he was appointed a preacher to the gentiles. But now, encouragement floods into his heart as he has knows that he has been to every place in the regions that surrounded him. He had shared the good news of the gospel to everyone and it was now time to see his friends in Rome. But he was not there yet, and since there were still obstacles he had to jump over to get to Rome, he asks his brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for him.
- It is good to ask for prayer from fellow Christians. When you write letters or emails to fellow believers, do you make requests of them for prayer?
- When there is something that you desire, yet it has not been given to you; do you see this as God preventing you from having it? Do you see his sovereign hand even in this?
- Do you long for Christian fellowship? When you get it, does it drain or refresh you?