1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. 13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. 15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. 17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. 22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. 26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. 29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen. Romans 15:1-33 (KJV)
Shortest Verse (10 words) Rom 15:33, Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Longest Verse (40 words) Rom 15:24, Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with4 your company.
Middle Verse(s) (of 33 verses) Rom 15:17, ¶ I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
Middle Five Words (of 750 words) [‘God. For I will not’] 17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, Romans 15:17-18 (KJV)
Not a whole lot to say here. Paul, with typical humility, diminishes himself, and exalts God, as he explains his motivations and why he is doing certain things.
Paul also does something a little different from other evangelists. Today, it’s pretty much the habit of most missionaries to go someplace where it’s a… well, vacation spot. I’m most definitely not trying to criticize, but it seems we have a disproportionate number of missionaries to Bermuda, as opposed to places of squalor, poverty, disease…
Paul determined to go places where Christ had not yet been preached. Let’ put it this way, if you want to be a missionary to the place we have more missionaries than anywhere else (Britain and Canada), where you have 1 missionary for every 1200 people or so… I suggest you pray earnestly about that. Make SURE that’s where God has called you to go.
There’s Japan. There’s China. There’s Korea. There’s Russia. There’s Iraq and Iran. “I don’t want to be killed!” Yes, that’s a valid thought, and I can’t argue with that. If you look at the countries where the missionaries are in the lowest numbers, by a compete coincidence, it happens to be the areas where Christianity is outlawed, and where spreading the Gospel will get you arrested or killed. North Korea has the distinction of being the most lethal country in the world to missionaries. I’m not trying to make you ill, but I’m going to just say – North Korea has steamrollers.
So why aren’t people trying to go to North Korea, and the Sudan? Well, they are – they’re just getting killed for the sake of the Gospel.
I can’t fault you for balking at the thought of Korea, or of Somalia or Nigeria – but let me just ask this – are you SURE the Lord has called you to London? Or Bermuda? Why does it have to be a vacation spot???
Let me just say, what if the Lord calls me to the south of France as a missionary? Sitting around in a French cafe’ sipping coffee out of tiny cups (note to self – bring them real American 65 ounce coffee cups!!!), listening to some fool playing an accordion, and thinking, “Ahhh…. thank God for mission boards!”
Or of course, I could be called to the UK, to Scotland! Aye…. That’s a right prrrroper place to be called te…. I’ll brush up on mah brogue by reading “Lassie Come Home”! I had tha book when I was but a wee tyke!
…and sit around, staring at some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth!
Or if I want to look at beautiful country, and vast mountains… New Zealand! I just have to practice my New Zealand accent. “Naw…e!” It’s got to be the only English speaking country on earth where “No” is said with a rising inflection. And be sure to tell them all about “heeven.”
Germany… truly a gorgeous country! Maybe the Lord is calling me there!
See what I mean? It shouldn’t be the fact you like English gardens that decides for you, or beaches (Hey! Somalia has VERY nice beaches! Just… don’t swim in the water! They have sharks!). It shouldn’t be that you’ve
Here’s a technique that was suggested in my Seminary in the class on missions…
Pray about it. Don’t think about white buildings with dark brown trim, don’t think about majestic mountains, deep fjords, ice cold streams, volcanos, baby ducks, or little dogs. Think about the people. And pray.
If you spend an earnest, “Lord, if you’re calling me, please show me where…” prayer session, and you walk by someone that day and they mention the Philippines, make a mental note. If that same day you meet someone from the Philippines, take note. If you walk by a TV that’s playing something on WWII and the Bataan death march, take note. The Lord may be telling you something. Once is coincidence. Twice is coincidence. When you start getting to four times or more in one or two successive days, the Lord is trying to get your attention!
Or it could be Russia. Or China. It MIGHT be Germany! It MIGHT actually be England! They have LOTS of churches… that are empty. They have LOTS of ministers… who do not preach the true Gospel of, “you must be born again.” For a country that once was almost the representative of Christianity to the world, Great Britain is woefully bereft of the Gospel.
Think about it. Pray about it.
In light of the Great Commission, you don’t need to prove you’ve been called to Algeria – you need to be able to prove you’ve been called to stay home.