(May 19-Reading Romans 15:14-33, NIV) I am doing something new, sending this by iPhone. I left my computer with completed devotional in Temple at Jonathan’s house.
Paul speaks in this text about holy boasting, when it is not only permissible but also recommendable to boast about the work of God in and through our lives. He makes it clear that all of his accomplishments are in reality the accomplishments of Christ, saying: “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me.” He continues by declaring that all had been done “through the power of the Spirit of God” (vv. 18-19).
This understanding of God’s work in his own life helped him to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others. He had the confidence to write to the Roman Christians: “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another”(v. 14).
Paul, as “a minister of Christ Jesus with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God” (v. 16), reminds us that we all are responsible for doing God’s work. This is the way we accomplish together the work of God as His church. We all have been called to the ministry of proclaiming His gospel, and we can encourage one another by recognizing God’s work in our midst and praising Him for it. The church is no place for pride or jealousy. Any true work of God done in the church will be only what Christ accomplishes through us!
Paul described the fellowship that will result from this kind of mutual service: “…so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen” (v. 32-33). May this describe our fellowship: to come together with joy and to find ourselves refreshed by one another’s company!
– Al Gary