One of my favorite books in the New Testament is Romans. Paul writes to believers in simple terms, sharing his heart for fellow believers, the strong ones and the weak ones, the brave ones, and the timid ones. Paul wrote to them all to encourage them, challenge them, chastise them, and love on them.
The book of Romans is like an epic letter from a big brother who has left home, but still wants to share his heart with his younger siblings. Just read the words below, his love for his brothers and sisters in Christ is so full and rich.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:1-7)
I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:14-16).
I read these words and find myself in near tears. Paul loved them and he also loved us– those of us who would come after, growing in the Grace and in Faith in Christ. I have been busy in my day-to-day work and find myself exhausted at night. My work is not physically strenuous, but it is mentally and emotionally. I find myself looking over at my devotionals and it has been days since they were opened.
I chose not to scold myself, but I realize my heart and soul are feeling dehydrated –lacking the Living Water (John 7:38) I need to be strengthened and restored.
And then I read these words… May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
And I breathe in and breathe out and find myself filling like a pool with fresh, clear, pure water. I am refreshed, encouraged, and equipped to go forward. From the desert to the oasis– with just a word spoken to my soul at the right time.
What kind of word do you need today?