Scripture: Romans 15:14-33
Observation: As Paul closes Chapter 15, he speaks to the Romans about his future plans. He shares his purpose of writing to them – to share the Good News of Jesus Christ – and goes on to say that his ambition is to spread the Good News to people who have never heard of Jesus. Paul had the heart of a church planter and was willing to travel anywhere and endure anything to help plant life-giving communities of believers.
Application: Remember a few weeks ago when we talked about the intensity of Paul’s purpose? When I read today’s passage, I’m reminded that we have to do hard things to live out the calling of Jesus.
As we read the end of Chapter 15, Paul again reveals his sole purpose: “to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard.” (v. 20) He traveled all over the place. At the time of this writing, he had already founded several churches in the regions of northern and southern Greece known as Macedonia and Achaia, and he talks about going to Spain, to Rome, to Jerusalem. He had to rely on the financial support of others. He had to endure intense suffering, including imprisonment, for his beliefs.
But, his purpose trumped his problems.
So often, it seems the weight of our problems outweighs the promise of our purpose.
I don’t know what God has called you specifically to do and to be. Maybe it’s to be a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a wife, a husband, a friend. Maybe it’s to be a teacher or a preacher or a firefighter. Maybe it’s to live in Delaware or North Dakota or California or Kenya. Maybe it’s to write or create or play or speak or act or counsel.
No matter what your specific purpose is, I can guess that it comes with a pile of problems. You face challenges you’ve never faced, struggles you never expected, issues you never saw coming. And all of the sudden, sometimes it feels like living out your God-given purpose isn’t worth all the problems.
But, I’m here to tell you it is.
God created that purpose. He placed it inside of you. He gave you the strength, the resolve, the passion, and the endurance to tackle anything life throws your way. He gave you the power to overcome. God made sure that the weight of your problems never outweighs the promise of your purpose.
When you live out that purpose, you get to experience what Paul describes in verse 17:
“So I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God.”
Christ is doing something in you and through you. You have a purpose. Never lose sight of it, no matter what life throws your way.
Prayer: God, I pray for my purpose and for the ability to overcome all of the difficult things life throws my way. I pray for renewed strength, passion, and confidence in you so I can pursue my purpose. Amen.