Romans 15:22-33 is the subject of today’s Devotion:
22 This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28 When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29 I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Do you remember how Paul was enabled to travel all through the Roman empire, teaching and preaching the gospel of Christ through word and deed? Paul states that “ This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you.” But, he can’t do that anymore, there’s no room for him to work in those areas anymore, so now he hopes to visit them in Rome as he passes through on his way to Spain.
As I was going through this passage I mentioned to my hubby that I never really thought about this before. Paul travelled everywhere, in a day and age where everything was done through walking, riding horses/carts, or travelling by boat. Everything took time. As I ponder this truth I wonder about the people Paul would have met along the way. Knowing that his motivation was always to preach the truth he was taught, how many people did he reach for the Lord as he travelled from point A to point B? The thought staggers me… Other than the fact that currently I have a health thing that causes me to think.. I don’t walk to walk across town (granted I don’t even want to drive across town)… Paul did this all the time and he would have met people along the way. Taking your time to travel by foot opens doors we don’t always have nowadays. Worth doing a bit more perhaps? What do you think?
Anyways, Paul’s goal was to stop in to visit with the Roman Church, to meet the longing he has to visit with them, and also to be helped on his journey by them.
However… first he needs to go to Jerusalem to be of help to the believers there. This reason: For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. You see the Gentile owe to the Jewish believers to help them, so they did so, not only out of duty but out of desire. So once Paul has discharged his duty in Jerusalem he plans to come to them.
I like this verse “I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.” Ah, how often are we really aware of that. That any meeting we have will have, any plans that we make, happen only in the fullness of Christ’s blessing. If it’s meant to be, it happens when Christ allows it to happen. So no “misgotten” things happen to us. No chance meetings. Everything in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
Paul makes an appeal: to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf. Paul covets the prayers of the faithful on his behalf. His request: that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.
How often do we ask for prayer and fail to be specific about our needs? Paul knows things are difficult for him in Judea. He has goals he hopes to meet, and his reliance upon the Lord is such he knows he needs prayer to get through. Three needs Paul has
- deliverance from unbelievers
- Service to be acceptable
- to be able to come to Rome and be refreshed by the visit.
Good prayer requests eh? Specific. Showing need. Asking for help…wanting to be joyful. Good prayers.
So, what specific prayers do you have? Anything I can reach out to with for you?