Text: Romans 1:6-15
Theme: Paul spoke directly and personally to the Romans for whom he felt concern and obligation.
Key verses: “And you are included among those Gentiles who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. I am writing to all of you in Rome who are loved by God…May God…give you grace and peace. Let me say first that I thank God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you…One of the things I pray for is…to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord…I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now. I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit…For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. So I am eager to come to you in Rome, to preach the Good News” (v. 6-15).
What God said to me: Dwayne, Paul’s heart was on individuals all over the world. He didn’t see people as masses within a region or city. He saw them as persons for whom I died. He didn’t just generalize or group bunches of people together. When he prayed he prayed for individual churches and people, as well as for whole countries and regions. Paul was a great man of prayer. He didn’t rely on his reputation or writing skills or knowledge. He relied on me only. He knew the source of his power was through me. He sincerely longed for those in Rome to love me and follow me and know me. Romans is a very personal letter. It was much more than just a spiritual treatise or academic book on doctrine. It was written from the heart of a man who loved and prayed for those to whom he wrote. What can you learn from this? You can address people as individuals and see their needs individually too. Genuinely show love and concern for those around you where I send you. Care for the educated and the uneducated. (Beware you don’t look down on those who aren’t as cultured or well-off as you.) I died for all. I love all and want none to perish but all to come to repentance. Treat each person as a soul worth saving–I do.
What I said to God: Thank You, most holy Lord. I am humbled that You would take time and care to speak so clearly to me and commune with me, considering how much I fail You and follow my own desires and whims. Thank You for Your mercy that endures forever and is never-ending. Please help me make an effort to meet my neighbors and speak to those around me at coffee shops. Help me intentionally and boldly share Your love with someone today, both through my actions and through my words.