It's good to make plans & have ambition, but hold on to them lightly!
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Romans 15 Summary
Paul makes three points in the opening section of chapter 15:
- Those who are strong must seek to build up those who are weak;
- God's Word was written to give you endurance, encouragement and hope;
- Accept one another in the church despite whatever differences we have.
We get a sort of 'behind the scenes' look at Paul's life as he tells of his desire to plant the seed of the gospel in new fields, as well as of his current plans to go back to Jerusalem with money collected to help Christians there who are enduring a famine.
His ultimate dream is to head west to Spain with the Gospel, stopping in Rome along the way. Although it seems like he has everything figured out, God has different plans for him. Paul will certainly end up in Rome, just not at all the way he intended.
Certainly the Apostle Paul's life is closely aligned with God's will, and it seems very clear to Paul that God is calling him to bring the gospel to Spain. He just had to make a quick drop off of the benevolence offering the gentile church had taken for their poverty stricken brethren back in Jerusalem and he'd be on his way.
But of course we know from reading the book of Acts that things didn't exactly turn out that way. Paul's arrested by the 'unbelievers in Judea' he mentions in v31, and after years of sham trials, ends up being shipped to Rome as a prisoner where he'll ultimately be executed.
All of this is a lesson for us to hold on to our plans very lightly, even when we're convinced they're fully aligned with God's will. Full alignment means we are fully ready to set our plans and ambitions to the side so that God's will can be done, because we remember what we read a few chapters ago: that God is working out all things for our good.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The God who gives endurance and encouragement (v5), the God of hope (v13), the God of peace (v33)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the ability to always be ready to reformulate your plans, even when you thought you were dialed into God's will previously.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: