Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Birth of the Savior
“I am a debtor both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.” (14)
In today’s passage we see that Paul has an ongoing ministry of prayer. Not only does Paul keep the three regular times of prayer but he is also in prayer at all times throughout the day. He constantly remembers the people he is ministering to and ministering with. This is possible because Paul worships and prays to God in his spirit not like others who only worship God through physical actions in the temple.
We notice that Paul’s commission places him under obligation to God and to all the gentiles (non Jews or Greeks) of the world, because Paul’s mission is to bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Until Paul has reached all the gentiles with the message of the Gospel he is still in their debt because he retains in his possession something that properly belongs to them as much as it does to him. This is why Paul wants to visit Rome so he can continue to build up the non-Jewish community there. This same commission is true for us Christians today. While God intends for us to live in Christian community to mature and be encouraged the purpose of it is to give the non Christian community around us what properly belongs to them.
In Paul’s day Caesar was the lord of the world but his position was challenged by Jesus who claimed the same title. When Paul chose to go to Rome and announce Jesus as the King who will rule the world he was essentially asking to be killed. However, we see that Paul will not shy away because he is not ashamed of the gospel. This attitude of Paul is not just optimism while others folks are more practical by running from Caesar and death. Instead Paul knows that this gospel, this word, is powerful. Paul has discovered from town to town that when he proclaims that God through the risen Jesus will claim the world that power is unleashed. This allows him to face danger with boldness. He knows that even if his enemies succeed in taking his life that his Lord will one day reign supreme. Therefore even in death or present suffering he was never in shame because he lived and died in the confidence of the gospel which has delivered him. Unfortunately for his enemies if they chose not to accept this truth they will one day be put to shame, but Paul loved even his enemies enough to never stop trying to reveal what he owed them, the truth of the gospel.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for accepting us as your people. Give us the boldness to do our job and be the light of the world despite all the various persecutions we will face in doing so which your Son promised would come upon us. Amen.
Thought for the day: Let us share in the confidence of the Psalmist as we boldly take up our commission of being the light to the world despite the different forms and levels of suffering that awaits us.
Jebin Yohannan, St. Andrew’s MTC, NY