First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong — that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:8-17).
Everyone needs to be blessed and encouraged on a regular basis. Think about the people who bless you the most. They are the ones you can’t wait to see because you know you will feel better just from being with them. Their faith encourages yours. Paul wanted to visit the Romans because he knew they would be mutually encouraging to each other and everyone’s faith would grow as a result. That’s the pattern for the church today as well.
“I thank God for you because …” Who comes to your mind when you read those words? It’s great to pray for them, but why not follow Paul’s example and write a note, send a text, or make a phone call today to tell them why you’re so thankful for them. They’ll be blessed and encouraged, and so will you.
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