READ: Romans 15
BACKGROUND: Paul talks to the Romans about imitating Christ, and then he moves into the closing section of his letter by telling them about his plans for the future.
By Verse –
1 – Paul counts himself as strong, but he willingly restricts his own behavior for the sake of others or, more importantly, for the sake of his gospel witness.
3 – The quote is from Psalm 69:9.
9-12 – These quotes (Psalm 18:49, Deuteronomy 32:43, Psalm 117:1, & Isaiah 11:10 are from the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) & Paul uses them here to validate Jesus’ ministry to the gentiles.
25-28 – Paul had been collecting money from many churches to help out the poor & suffering Christians in Jerusalem.
THINK: Paul specifies that we are to help others in areas where we are “strong and able in the faith.” What are some areas in which you have received training, direction, or guidance? What are some of your natural gifts and strengths?
Read Romans 15:1-6 once more. Read it with a heart of gratitude for those who, past and present, “step in and lend a hand” to you, even if you don’t remember specific details.
PRAY: Ponder what this passage says about Jesus and how he dealt with people’s troubles. Now think about his call to follow him (see Matthew 16:24). When you think about being like Jesus in this way, what questions, thoughts, and feelings come up? Share these with him.
LIVE: Contemplate the role that service to others plays in your daily life. There are a variety of forms this might take, for example, lending a listening ear or emotional support, doing manual labor or other chores for someone, or giving money, food, shelter, or clothing to a person in need. Has your service to others become another form of overwork? Or is it truly integrated into your life in a comfortable and valuable way? Have you been selfish in the use of your time? Should you be giving more of yourself to others than you currently do?
From Eugene Peterson in Solo