Romans 15:14–21 (ESV)
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. 15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given
me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work
for God. 18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem
and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; 20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”
In Today’s reading, we see two commitments by Paul. His first commitment is to “preach the gospel to the Gentiles. His second commitment is to take the church to the lost. He doesn’t want
to establish churches where there are already churches “lest I build on someone else’s foundation.” He wants to establish churches in new areas. This is why Paul takes three missionary journeys and plants churches along the way.
In the same way, we do not want to grow the church by taking other people from other churches. We welcome them, but our focus is to reach out to the lost. I often hear about Lutheran churches that ask for the District’s help in trying to
grow by asking for a list of Lutherans in the area. I scratch my head in frustration. Forget out list of believers! Look out at the community. There are thousands upon thousands of people who do not believe or have wandered away.
The fields are ready for harvesting. Our mission is one of planting the seeds of faith and harvesting. Share Jesus! Invite others to church!
I pray: O Lord, forgive me when I
fail to tell others about what you have done for me. Forgive me for my fear of rejection. Help me to be bold like Paul, to take Christianity to new people and new places. Mold me and use me Lord! Amen.