Romans 1:9-15 Eager

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 want you to know, 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.

Eager

Paul communicates a passionate commitment.  He knows that God, who sees everything, can see his heart.  His heart, or spirit, is dedicated to the good news that he shares.  When he shares that good news in the book of Acts, it is often in the form of a narrative.  The whole narrative is God’s story, but the Old Testament points to the cross of Jesus and His resurrection.  In the resurrection life of Jesus, we all have opportunity for a new beginning.  When we have begun to live the life of Christ we have a different perspective and calling that continues through eternity.  This new, eternal life is good news and Paul wants to share it.

God’s timing is not the same as Paul’s though.  He will go to Rome, we know that from history.  However, at the time of writing this letter he has not been there.  The gospel shows no partiality.  Jews, Greeks and barbarians can all come to God through Christ.  When the Romans hear more of the gospel, they will receive a gift and Paul will reap a harvest.  Perhaps the gift is a gift that Paul will bestow upon them as a spiritual leader, such as an increased gift of prophecy.  Perhaps the harvest he will receive is a financial harvest which he will be ale to take with him to those struggling financially elsewhere.  I think it is the gift of the gospel that Paul will take.  Since he is writing to a church, most of them will have been reconciled to God through Jesus, but they might not know the pervasive nature of the new life which they have received.  In this way Paul would receive the reward of seeing their growth and increased service to God.

Do you have an eager passion for the gospel?  Is your heart or spirit fully focused on God’s desire that people live life daily aligned with him?  I know that I am often self-focused.  My stomach isn’t feeling great today and now my mind tends to be drawn back to my stomach.  I have a lot of grading and publicity for our book to take care of.  I don’t always see them as opportunities to live a gospel life as a witness to others.  Today, though, as I am about to go over to Moody Radio and I will come back to a pile of grading, I will think of my responsibilities as opportunities.  Rather than focus on my performance or my own tasks, I will prayerfully lift up those I will reach through my words on air and the red pen I write on their papers.

Prayer

Dear God, I am now eager for those who know you to grow in you.  I pray for those in Chicago as they go about their day today.  I pray for those in Plymouth, England, the city of my birth.  May we share the good news of the new life you offer.  May those who don’t know you begin the adventure.  May those who do know you find encouragement and strength for the road ahead.

Questions

  1. What does Paul claim that God witnesses?
  2. Which words communicate Paul’s passion?
  3. Does commitment have to be passionate?
  4. How can you develop more passion in your commitments?
  5. Who do you know who needs to experience more of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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17 Responses to Romans 1:9-15 Eager

  1. Megumi says:

    1. Paul’s prayers for the Romans
    2. “I long to see you”
    3. yes, but passion isn’t always displayed in emotional feeling
    4. remind myself of truth and the reasons for my commitments
    5. a friend

  2. Christa says:

    1. What does Paul claim that God witnesses? Him in his ministry for the gospel of Christ
    2. Which words communicate Paul’s passion? Without ceasing, always, at last, long, often
    3. Does commitment have to be passionate? Commitment does not have to be passionate, depending on what the commitment is to (I might be committed to taking out the trash every day but not passionate about it)
    4. How can you develop more passion in your commitments? I think it is important to remember the reasons why you are committed to something and the people involved in the commitment and that will help develop more passion for it
    5. Who do you know who needs to experience more of the gospel of Jesus Christ? My extended family

  3. Danny says:

    In American culture “passion” is typically equated with emotion. This is unfortunate. I am committed to my family and a few friends; but the way I treat them or things that I might do for them do not always stem from how I feel emotionally towards them. I am passionate because I am committed to that relationship regardless of the difficulties that we might encounter. Emotions are unstable and not trustworthy; therefore our commitments must be based in the Truth because that never changes. I know who I am in Christ and who they are in Christ (what the Lord created them for) and that identity is the foundation for my interactions because Christ first loved, I now love…

  4. Nate Silvieus says:

    My passions and my eagerness for the gospel seem mostly to dwell on my future with the ministry I will have and the people I will minister to. As an aspiring teacher of the bible I cannot wait to see the growth and transformation my students will prayerfully have in Jesus. Though I know these are great thoughts to have, I find myself now neglecting living a gospel focused life that is lived out for others to see. Since I am not ‘in full time ministry’ I am not thinking about the people in my life right now and not passionate to encourage them or see them grow. This therefore makes me nervous about myself in my future ministry because I think that once I get there, my mindset will not change very much and my passion for the gospel will remain mediocre and not grow. Being a passionate person is not something that people who know me would describe me as, and it has been causing me to evaluate my own priorities and be challenged to live a life that is obviously passionate about the gospel to the people in my life.

  5. 1. God is a witness to how Paul continually mentions those in Rome and a hope to come to them in his prayers.
    2. The following are the words that show Paul’s passion: “serve with my spirit”, “without ceasing”, “always”, “long”, “I want you to know”, and “eager”.
    3. I think passion is vital to commitment. I may not always seem passionate about something or my passion may be seriously lacking, but if I am sincerely committed I think that by necessity I must be on some level passionate for the object of my commitment.
    4. I need to remember the beauty and value of the commitments I have been entrusted with by God. I also need to extend myself to those things in a fuller way which involves more of myself. I think I recall hearing more sermon examples of what not to be passionate for ending with instead we need to fill in the blank with any term but be passionate for God. We don’t pursue passion, but associate it with something bad. However, God is the most passionate being and His grace is by far the most passionate thing I’ve ever experienced. I want to be like that, to give of myself because I am passionate for others.
    5. Everybody. Paul wrote Romans to Christians and He explained the gospel just as he did at other times with unbelievers. You cannot possibly have enough of the gospel regardless of your salvation status.

  6. Michael McCardle says:

    I really like question 4, remember what is true. Whenever my life gets crazy my mom tells me to remember what is true about God. Proclaiming God’s truth upon yourself and preaching to yourself brings peace into your life and rest for your soul.

  7. Maelynn says:

    My extended family members need to experience the gospel of Christ more. I pray for them and ask God to give me wisdom when I have the chance to talk with them and visit with them.

  8. Maria T. says:

    For a commitment to be strong, i believe that it must be passionate. This is something that I see quite often. When people lose passion, they often slack off in their commitment. I am unsure of how to develop passion for my commitments until after it has been developed. For example, when I am committing to pray for something or someone, I am not always passionate, but then as I see God answering prayers, I become more passionate. In those circumstances, believing God is at work develops my passion. I think that praying for passion is a good place to start.

  9. Jung Kim says:

    Is your heart or spirit fully focused on God’s desire that people live life daily aligned with him? I know that I am often self-focused as well. When I feel alone, I tend to watch Korean shows or look for something to entertain myself. However, God reminds me this morning to seek Him and His kingdom first. Thank you God for the reminder. You are good, indeed.

  10. Olyn says:

    It’s often so easy to think of each day as ‘my time’ when in reality it is only by God’s grace that I am breathing. If I saw more often that each day is given by God, and that He owns every part of it, maybe I would be more grateful and see ‘duties’ as the opportunities they are.

  11. Emmy R says:

    I just had a conversation similar to this with one of my friends. We have so many opportunities, especially here at Moody, to learn, grow, and share our experiences with others. However, far too often, we get caught up in our “work” and forget the blessing of studying God’s Word and being immersed in it daily. May we never lose sight of the amazing gift we have been given.

  12. Andrew Moore says:

    It is very easy, and I think a natural human tendency, for me to be passionate about things that are only pertinent to myself or even about things that are not even very important. It is only through the Lord’s working in my life where my passions can be directed into God honoring passions.

  13. I think it is important to have passion in your commitments, but it is not always necessary. For instance, it is important for someone making a marriage commitment to actually want to make that commitment, it can’t be something that they kind of want to do. On the other hand, a person does not need to be passionate about mundane commitments, such as walking to class or making a phone call. If an individual is lacking in passion for certain commitments, they need to lay that before the Lord and ask Him to change their hearts.

  14. Kimberly W. says:

    I love the phrase that talks about mutual encouragement from each other’s faith. Paul is an apostle, but he still seeks to engage in relationship with new Roman believers. He does not consider himself above the Roman believers; he knows he will be encouraged by the faith of the Romans just as they will be encouraged by him. This is a demonstration of his humility, even in leadership. As I serve the Lord now and in the future, I want to remember to be a humble leader.

  15. Christina W. says:

    Who do you know who needs to experience more of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
    Many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins need to experience more of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Since I know this need, it is important for me to be in prayer for them continuously and seek to share the gospel with them as I have the opportunity.

  16. I too often fall into a self-centered life that isn’t passionate about sharing the gospel with others. It’s easy to get caught up in my routines and forget about the command Jesus leaves for us to spread the good news to all people. In my own life, there are many people who don’t know Jesus. My mom is a new believer and is still in a lot of old sin. My dad and two brothers are unbelievers and many days I forget to pray for their salvation. I want to constantly lift them up to God and ask Him to change their hearts and reveal himself to them.

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