Tuesday, November 13
FROM JERUSALEM TO ILLYRICUM
14 My brothers and sisters, I myself am convinced about you that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15 Nevertheless, I have written to remind you more boldly on some points because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, serving as a priest of the gospel of God. My purpose is that the Gentiles may be an acceptable offering, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore I have reason to boast in Christ Jesus regarding what pertains to God. 18 For I would not dare say anything except what Christ has accomplished through me by word and deed for the obedience of the Gentiles, 19 by the power of miraculous signs and wonders, and by the power of God’s Spirit. As a result, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum. 20 My aim is to preach the gospel where Christ has not been named, so that I will not build on someone else’s foundation, 21 but, as it is written,
Those who were not told about him will see,
and those who have not heard will understand.
PAUL’S TRAVEL PLANS
22 That is why I have been prevented many times from coming to you. 23 But now I no longer have any work to do in these regions, and I have strongly desired for many years to come to you 24 whenever I travel to Spain. For I hope to see you when I pass through and to be assisted by you for my journey there, once I have first enjoyed your company for a while. 25 Right now I am traveling to Jerusalem to serve the saints, 26 because Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were pleased, and indeed are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual benefits, then they are obligated to minister to them in material needs. 28 So when I have finished this and safely delivered the funds to them, I will visit you on the way to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30 Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in fervent prayers to God on my behalf. 31 Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, that my ministry to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 and that, by God’s will, I may come to you with joy and be refreshed together with you.
33 May the God of peace be with all of you. Amen.
In verse 20 we see that Paul expresses a desire to preach the Gospel in new places, to people who’ve never heard it. Paul did not just want to continue to build up and strengthen those who have already heard of Jesus, he was convicted to continue to share with those who had never heard. Paul isn’t saying it’s wrong to continue to build upon the work that we’ve already started where we are, he is simply pointing out that there is still great need for the gospel to be preached on the “frontier.”
There are nearly 3 billion people in the world that have yet to hear about Jesus. Let’s continue to serve, worship, and love well within our own community; but let’s not lose a sense of urgency to play whatever role we can in taking the gospel to the unreached. Today, ask the Lord to give you vision and conviction for the unreached in the world.
Father I ask that you would continue to come through on your promise to redeem the entire world. Please continue to do that work by calling and equipping people to take the gospel to those who are living in sin and darkness because they don’t know You. Continue to bring people from death to life all over the world.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.