Tag: full measure
Scripture reading for August 2nd: Romans 15:23-16:7
Paul explained to the Roman church his calling to reach the Gentiles and to preach to those who had never heard about Christ. He felt that this is why he had been hindered from coming to visit them. They had already received the Gospel! He did want to have their fellowship and invited them to assist him in going to Spain to preach the Gospel there. This would be new territory.
Paul explained where he was headed now. He was going to Jerusalem to bless the church there. Paul had received offerings from the churches he had helped found in Macedonia and Achaia to help the poor among the church in Jerusalem. Many of the Jews who had believed in Christ were cut off from their families and often lost their jobs. They were persecuted for their faith and this resulted in poverty and need. Because the Gentiles had shared in the Jew’s spiritual blessings through Christ, Paul told them that they had an obligation to share with these Jews their material blessings. Paul stated that these Gentile churches had given generously and with joy! (Romans 15:26-27)
“I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen.” (Romans 15:30-33) Paul’s great need as a missionary and apostle was prayer from the church. Prayer is as important as giving finances in accomplishing the work of God. Paul asked for protection from the unbelievers in Judea. He was aware of the potential danger to his own life and knew prayer would make a difference. He asked for God to enable him to serve the church in Jerusalem with excellence through his offerings and ministry. Paul also anticipated coming to the Roman church and having a time of refreshing with them as well. What great insight into the heart of the apostle Paul and his ministry through these last chapters of Romans!