Romans 15:30 – Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me.
Paul is writing to a church that he has not seen. He had longed to go to Rome, but the Spirit of God has had him focused on the Eastern Mediterranean. Many of Paul’s friends, and fellow laborers were there in Rome with the Roman saints. Paul is strongly calling for them to join him in his labors by praying for him to be rescued from those that are disobedient in Judah. That was a nice way of speaking about the Jews who wanted to kill him. He asked for prayers concerning his outreach to Jerusalem. He also asked them to pray about giving money to the poor saints living there. He asked them to pray for his ability to come to them in joy, by the will of God and to find rest in their company.
His request to the Roman Christians was in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit. Jesus is reigning as Lord in this present time. The Spirit has come to administrate the love of God in the earth. The Spirit always has unity in love as the core of His purpose. It is the love of the Spirit that makes unity possible. Unity must have as its purpose the will of God in order to be accomplished. Today, we hear a lot of talk about unity. It is awesome to see pastors throughout a city joined together in prayer. It is tremendous to sing songs from a great variety of streams. It is always a joy to know that denominationalismis taking a back seat. Many different groups are being joined together in the unity of the Spirit to accomplish God’s purposes in the earth. Paul is requesting prayer for himself from a large church in Rome. In fact, it was the only church in Rome. According to Paul’s greetings in the sixteenth chapter of Romans, it appears the believers gathered in houses, but related as one church in the city.
The Lord is at work restoring His Church to the simplicity of those early days. He is continually at work through His Holy Spirit, raising up His servants all over the world who are laboring for the same cause. That cause is the advancing of His kingdom in the earth. Today, prayers are offered for poor saints, and the suffering church around the world. Large amounts of money are being raised in the same spirit in which Paul raised money for the poor saints in Jerusalem. We are living in apostolic times, as God the Father, by the Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit prepare an end-time church to fulfill His purpose in the earth.
Ask the Holy Spirit to enlarge your vision for what the Lord is doing in these days. Ask Him to guide you in your prayers and to fill you with “the love of the Spirit” for all saints. Be generous toward the poor, especially those of the Household of God.
Romans 15:18-19 – For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit.
Some may think it is an egotistical statement by Paul to speak only of what Christ has done through him. One day, I received a letter from a sister in Christ, who felt she needed to write and tell me I was bragging of what Christ had done through me. Of course, I wrote her back, and thanked her for bringing this to my attention. I mentioned to her that I had taken her letter and shared it with other well-known pastors in our city. My purpose was to inquire of these pastors to find out if this might be true. They did not agree with her perspective and affirmed the reports of what the Lord had been doing.
It is easy to get caught up in drawing attention to self. One does need to be careful, and know one’s motivation in testifying about what God has accomplished. Paul had totally surrendered his life to Christ. Those that knew Paul knew that he had learned to die daily to himself. It was factual that the Gentiles were turning to Christ in large numbers. The reason for these massive amounts of conversions was the combination of “words and deeds.” There were numerous manifestations of “signs and wonders” which occurred through the power of the Holy Spirit. When God uses someone to bring about His purposes through one’s speech, deeds, and supernatural means, one would be expected to share the great things God had done.
We too, should be asking the Lord to use us for His glory. Paul gives us a model of a life surrendered fully to Christ. He also models the combination of words and deeds. Today, many have lots of words, but no real proof of lasting results. Paul’s ministry was based in “signs and wonders.” The same Holy Spirit that was working mightily in Paul is with us today. He has not changed! The church has changed, but the Holy Spirit remains the same. We definitely live in a different time, twenty-one centuries later. What is not different is that signs and wonders are still happening.
Let us simply surrender to the Spirit of the Lord. Ask Him for divine appointments that you may speak and demonstrate His power in the life of others through your words and by deeds, even in signs and wonders.
1 Peter 1:17 – If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth.
This is a powerful statement and reveals why we always need the Helper, the Holy Spirit. It is a serious thing to call God “our Father.” Receiving salvation, in and of itself, is an awesome thought. But it is even more awesome to realize that God has given us “power” to be His children. The implications are more than our finite minds can take in. He is no respecter of persons. To think that He made me alive in His Son through the power of His Holy Spirit causes me to take things very seriously. As a child of God, I have the personal responsibility to live and conduct myself in a manner that is fitting to the name I carry.
As my children were growing up, they had to give account to their mother and me. They had to answer directly to us about doing their chores, their school work, and their attitudes toward us and toward their siblings. They were our children, carrying our name, and we treated them the same without partiality. We wanted them to understand that there were consequences for yielding to the sin nature, for disobedience, and for neglecting their responsibilities. Our heavenly Father is the same toward us. The word fear as used here does not mean to be afraid in the way one might fear evil. The word is a beautiful word which carries the meaning of reverence and awesome respect. It is a respect that has the knowledge of one day standing before Him and giving Him an account.
The Holy Spirit wants to remind us that, as His children, we have all the blessings and benefits of heaven. We also have the responsibilities that are expected of a son and daughter of God. Our goal is not to “appease” God so we can make it into heaven. Jesus took care of that on the cross as He laid down His life for each of us. We have an increasing desire to “please” Father God, because we love Him for what He has done for us. We also fear Him as the God of all creation. This is a healthy attitude and one that will enable us to “conduct ourselves in the fear of God.”
Today, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any areas that are not submitted to your Father in heaven and to fill you with “godly fear” all the days of your life here on earth.
James 1:18 – In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
God exercises His will, motivated by His nature of love. The will of God is always rooted in truth and righteousness. There is no deception or hidden motive in what our Lord does. God has fully revealed His motives in His Word, the Bible. If that was not enough, He revealed Himself by sending Jesus, His only begotten Son. Both would have been sufficient, but He also chose to send His Holy Spirit to indwell the believer and reproduce what He created in Christ Jesus. The first century Christians became the “first fruits” of this new creation He is forming in the earth. His motivation and His purpose were to join heaven and earth in one accord through the life of His Son. The mandated work of the Holy Spirit is to accomplish this purpose of the Father. If you have received, by faith, the work of Christ and the Blessed Holy Spirit, you too are part of the exercise of His will by “the word of truth.”
All truth is eternal. Truth can only come from an eternal God. It may be revealed truth concerning the natural creation as science explores the heavens and the earth. Moment by moment, man is discovering hidden truths of this marvelous creation. It might be the revelation of the “word of truth” found in the pages of Scripture. The early apostles came to understand the truths the Holy Spirit was revealing to them out of the Old Testament. They also received new truths because of what Christ accomplished in His death, burial and resurrection. The Reformers received fresh understanding to restore the church back to her original purpose. Today, God is still revealing truth to His people. None have completely discovered the depths of God’s Word. I never cease to be amazed, how after knowing Christ and studying the Word of God for many years, He is still taking me into deeper understanding of His Truth. I am so finite and He is so infinite! As I hunger for more truth, He is present to help me apply what He has already shown me. He is also pleased to pull back the curtain a little more and show me more of His mysteries hidden in His love and grace.
Are you hungry for more understanding of His word of truth? The Holy Spirit stands ready to accommodate us. All we need to do is apply what He has already revealed and ask for more from the Holy Spirit. You will be surprised how much He will open your spirit and affect your mind with His powerful word of truth.