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Who first introduced you to the gospel, or explained it in a way that made sense to you? Who have been the key people along the road in your journey of faith?


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Bible passage Romans 15:14–22


Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
 14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15 I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with 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.

 17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:

   “Those who were not told about him will see,
   and those who have not heard will understand.”

 22 This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.



New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


Audio Bible passage


The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).


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Loving being a missionary!
Paul’s exuberance in this passage conjures up for me the joy of being the first person to walk across a fresh snow fall. It could sound like a selfish desire to make his mark and get all the glory, but I think it’s just the fulfilment of playing his God-given role. It’s not that he wants to get the credit, but that he loves the thrill of seeing the light come on in someone’s eyes, and knowing that God has worked again, through him.

It’s a wonderful privilege to play a part in bringing someone into God’s kingdom or deeper into discipleship, whether we get to be the first person God uses in their life, like Paul, or simply the one he’s using now.

Our roles
We are all called to ‘make disciples’, whether we’re officially ‘Christian workers’ or simply in home, work or school life. Where do you fit?

Are you like Paul, longing to reach those who have not yet heard, or do you find yourself reaping the harvest someone else has planted? Perhaps you’re watering the seed – making truth comprehensible to a group, or helping just one along his or her journey.


Respond


Paul shows us it is good to be ambitious for more fruit. Ask God to give you more to do for him today.

Jennie Pollock


Deeper Bible study


‘Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.’ (Deuteronomy 30:11)

Perhaps by this time the Roman Christians were feeling that Paul was asking too much of them. We might be tempted to feel the same. Surely such high expectations leave us feeling that we are bound to fail? Paul will not have this, however, and he reminds them (and us) just how much they had going for them: these sisters and brothers were full of goodness and knowledge and they were competent, so much so that they could act as teachers to each other, as though Paul himself wasn’t needed (v 14). Of course they could do it! Yet he is confident and clear that he did have something to offer. He wanted, when he eventually came, to ‘impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong’ (Romans 1:11; see also 15:29). He had written boldly to them, reminding them of some challenging points (those we have just covered). Moreover he had God’s authority to do this: he had been given grace for the task (v 15). He was called to a priestly ministry to proclaim the gospel and bring the Gentiles into the new community of faith. Nobody could accuse Paul of being diffident; given his call, he had a duty not to be (Acts 9:15,16).

It is bracing here to be faced with Paul’s continuing enthusiasm for Christ (vs 17–22). Despite all that he had suffered, with more to come (2 Corinthians 11:16–33), he was undaunted in his obedience to Christ. He has seen the power of God at work through him (vs 18,19). He has led many to obedience to Christ. He has taken care not to create complications for other messengers of Christ by building on foundations they had laid (v 20). His burning ambition is to pioneer, to break new ground for Christ and so to enlarge the circle of faith. Yet he gives all the glory to Christ and wants none for himself (vs 17,18).

Nigel Wright


Bible in a year


Read the Bible in a year.

Isaiah 25,26

Psalm 104
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Paul’s driving ambition


Today’s reading gives us an insight into what motivates Paul. Was he a humble servant of God or ambitious and driven? This audio meditation examines the question.

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The good news fund


Good News Fund

 

Financial support available for great mission ideas

If you’ve got a brilliant idea for reaching out to children and young people beyond your church but you need a little financial support to get it on the ground, we’ve got some good news for you!

The Scripture Union Good News Fund provides grants of up to £5,000 to help amazing mission ideas see the light of day, and we’re ready and waiting to receive your application!

For more information or to apply, visit:
www.scriptureunion.org.uk/goodnewsfund

Good News Fund

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Audio


I respond
Harmony Smith
Copyright© 2010 Vineyard Song (UK/Eire)
Buy this and other great worship songs at www.vineyardrecords.co.uk



Beautiful one
Tim Hughes.
Copyright © 2002 Thankyou Music
Buy this and other great worship songs at www.kingswayshop.com


Comments
  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    v16b 'so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit'. What a privilege to know that God sees us absolutely righteous, inexpressible pure and profoundly justified.

  • Roger Hall | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    As a reader in the church of England, these words are a great encouragement, and confirms what I've always believed. My Uncle who died this year at a great age always reminded me that the preaching of the Word of God was all important. God does all the work, and inspiration comes. I find that when people kindly pray for me, that it's very important to pray that He will prepare the hearts to receive the words which I'd has inspired me with.

  • Angela Munday | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    Christ looks upon us just as we are and receives us as we utter "Lord". We have been made ready for God's holy presence......"May the mind of Christ, my Saviour live in me from day to day, by his love and power controlling all I do and say." Father God, our hope is in your plan for your creation and may people everywhere have their eyes opened to see your goodness." Amen.

  • Roger Hall | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    Fat finger, He, not I. As John the Baptist said: "not I but Christ."

  • Ruth Chisholm | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    Deeper study, what were the Israelites being instructed to do? "16 For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering... 19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life." Before I read this this morning, as I prayed and gave my plans for the day to God, including a few admin tasks, reading and rest, it didn't feel much like today I am on the mission field. I need to plan in rest but I'm not good at it. My prayer became help me to do all things well, if it's resting, enjoy it, it's God given. There are many parts to our days, every moment is an opportunity to experience God at work in us, restoring us, blessing us for our next opportunity to ripple God's love into someone's life. Blessings to those of you today on the front line, in your busyness may you know God's whisper of love in your ear.

  • Ruth Lewis | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    Good morning to my WL friends!!! It is 7:17AM here in the US. I enjoyed all of the comments for they have really Blessed me, and is helping me to start my day off.

  • Tim Berry | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    Hi RUTH, Thinking of you and praying for you today, I have just spoken to my sister who is flying from the UK to New York today to visit our nephew and his family. She still finds it a bit difficult travelling alone since her husband died suddenly in July 2015. Prayers for her for a safe and peaceful journey would be much appreciated. She is not a christian, so prayers for her to meet with Jesus would also be great.

  • David Chipchase | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    Hello Tim. Would you mind telling me your sister's name?

  • Tim Berry | Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    Hi David, Her name is Sarah.

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