Romans 1:8–15 (ESV)
Longing to Go to Rome
8 First, I thank my
God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s
will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want
you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,
both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
Paul has a love for the Church in Rome and is always keeping them in his prayers. He hopes to
see them again if it is God’s will. He wants to “impart” some spiritual gift to strengthen them. It is not Paul who is teaching them, but that he is sharing what God has given him. He is not wanting the credit for this,
but it is to God’s credit. He wants to be with them because they feed off of each other in spiritual growth, as it says “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. When I was at the seminary, it was a spiritual
high for me to be around so many guys that had the same faith, and agreed on almost everything spiritually related. I loved being around everyone and it was hard to leave. Never before had I had such close and deep friendships that I had with so
many friends. I had great friend before as well as after the seminary, but it was different when I was around 300 like minded guys. The seminary is the closest that I can come to understanding what Paul is talking about, or my current church.
I love my congregation and I want to worship with them every Sunday. I feel blessed because not all Pastors can say that about their congregation. Paul just can’t wait to get to Rome and to preach the gospel to them.
I pray: O Lord, I give thanks that I feel this way about my friends at the seminary and my congregation that you have given me. Much like a family has disputes, help me to always have the joy of sharing the gospel in
good times and bad. Help me to love them and for them to love me back. Amen.