I love going places that I have never been to before, or even taking new ways to get to places I have been countless times. Sometimes I take a different route to a place I frequent, just to go a different way. My motivation is to see something new, to find a more scenic path, to get there faster. In today’s passage, we get a glimpse into Paul’s motivation for why he lived where he lived and why he traveled to where he traveled.
- Why do you live where you live? Or why do you work where you work?
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 15:22-29 (ESV)
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.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- For what reason was Paul headed to Jerusalem? Why is this important?
- What is the common thread in Paul’s relationship with all the people and places he mentioned here?
- What does it mean to “be of service to them in material blessings” in verse 27?
- In what ways can you invest in the gospel being taken to places that it has never been?
RESPOND TO GOD
The main motivation for everything that Paul did was to declare and demonstrate the gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically in places where it had never been declared or demonstrated. I wonder if we really believe that the reason we live where we live, or we work where we work, or we go to school where we do is that God wants us to declare and demonstrate the good news of Jesus in those places. If this was our motivation, I think we would live differently. We would definitely live with more purpose and focus. Our lives might be less comfortable but richer and full of joy!
- Ask God to align your motivation with his.
- Ask God how he wants to use you to further the gospel.