Sunday: Romans 15:14
v14: As the end of his letter draws near, Paul is aware he has at times addressed these believers using a tone of strong pastoral authority. Whereas his relationship to such churches as Corinth and Ephesus would naturally give him the right to admonish and correct, his relationship to Rome is different. He had never even visited the city in a ministerial capacity, so as he concludes, he wants to assure them that his boldness is not out of disrespect. In fact, his opinion of them is just the opposite. He regards them highly. He thinks of them as mature in character (full of goodness), well-taught (having been filled with all knowledge) and gifted with elders who were quite capable of correcting any who might need it (able to admonish one another).
Monday: Romans 15:15, 16
vs15-16: In effect, he tells them (my paraphrase): I dared to write boldly in some parts of this letter not thinking I was teaching you truths you hadnt heard before, but rather to remind you of foundational truths you do know. My motive has been to clarify them so they can sink even deeper into your hearts. Because God called me to be an apostle to the Gentiles, He has enabled me to explain the gospel in such a way that Gentiles can have their lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. If this great ingathering of Gentiles is to be an offering which is well-received by God, they must not continue practicing their old lifestyles.
Tuesday: Romans 15:17-19
vs17-19 (my paraphrase): Please notice that these things I am boasting about have to do with what God has done through Christ Jesus. For I would not dare speak this way about anything which Christ Himself did not cause to happen through me. The obedience of so many Gentiles to the gospel isnt the result of my work, but of Him speaking His word and doing His work through me with signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Time after time His Holy Spirit has put His stamp of approval on what Im teaching by doing amazing miracles through me. This is why Ive been able to fulfill my assignment to preach the gospel from Jerusalem on the east all the way around the Mediterranean, as you move counter-clockwise, to Illyricum (Yugoslavia, north of Greece on the Adriatic Sea).
Wednesday: Romans 15:20, 21
vs20-21 (my paraphrase): God brought a verse in Isaiah to my attention which has guided me in deciding where I would minister. The verse is Isaiah 52:15, and in it God prophesies that the sufferings of the Messiah (Isa 52:13-53:12) would atone (sprinkle) Gentiles as well as Jews. In this verse He specifically says that people living in many different nations, people who had never been told about this promise, would hear the report of the Messiahs atoning death (Isa 53:4-10) and resurrection (Isa 53:11, 12) and would believe and be saved. And when I read that verse I take it literally and have strategically focused my efforts on places where the name of Jesus had never been proclaimed. If someone else had already preached the gospel and laid the foundation of a church in a particular city or town, I would deliberately go somewhere else, because I dont feel its my assignment to build on someone elses foundation.
Thursday: Romans 15:22-24
vs22-24 (my paraphrase): This is why I never came to Rome. I often wanted to, but God kept reminding me of my assignment and sending me elsewhere. But now, since theres no place left in these regions where I or someone else hasnt preached the gospel, and since Ive longed to come and be with you for so many years, its my hope that I can pass through Rome on my way to Spain. I want to see for myself all God is doing among you, and hopefully you can help me prepare for my mission by your prayers, financial support and maybe even by providing me with names of people I might contact when I get there. Still, the most important preparation Ill receive is the spiritual filling that will come from my time spent with you.
Friday: Romans 15:25-28
vs25-28 (my paraphrase): However, I am headed first to Jerusalem to serve the saints who live there because the churches in northern (Macedonia) and southern (Achaia) Greece sincerely wanted to take an offering for the impoverished believers in that city (2Co 8:9). It was something they freely chose to do and they gave happily, but from a spiritual perspective it was also something they ought to do. After all, as Gentiles they owe a great debt to the Jewish church. If Jewish believers have shared their spiritual blessings with Gentiles, then its only fair for Gentile believers to minister to the practical needs of their Jewish brothers and sisters.
Saturday: Romans 15:28, 29
vs28-29 (my paraphrase): Safeguards have been put in place to see that this offering is delivered intact (sealed). I want to ensure there will be no suspicion in either Greece or Jerusalem that the gift was pilfered. I think of it as fruit of the Holy Spirits work in the hearts of Greek believers. Once this process is complete, Ill leave Jerusalem and come through your city on my way to Spain. Since my visit will in no way violate my assignment to preach to those whove never heard (vs20-22), Im confident the Holy Spirits power, which is a blessing given to us by Christ (Ro 8:9), will be fully at work through me when I minister among you.