In his letter to the early Roman church, Paul begins by expressing his heart’s desire for fellowship. He yearns to visit the believers in Rome whose famous faith is spoken of throughout the known world. But the thing that really sticks out and grabs my attention is Paul’s desire to encourage them in their faith and in so doing, also be encouraged himself. You see, for me the most powerful thing that I have experienced since finding this new faith, has been the fellowship of other believers. The strength and encouragement I have received from other faithful disciples as I have followed my new path, has made such a huge difference to me. I have grown in faith, not lost it as I most feared when all this began. I have learned about things that had initially mystified me. And I have seen their prayers answered alongside my own. Together this great wealth of shared experience has greatly accelerated my progress on my walk with God.
Romans 1:8-17 NLT
Let me say first that I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world. God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son. One of the things I always pray for is the opportunity, God willing, to come at last to see you. For I long to visit you so I can bring you some spiritual gift that will help you grow strong in the Lord. When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to visit you, but I was prevented until now. I want to work among you and see spiritual fruit, just as I have seen among other Gentiles. For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilised world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. So I am eager to come to you in Rome, too, to preach the Good News. For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
Paul had completely dedicated his life to sharing the truth of Jesus and his faith in it. I find myself moving ever more in the same direction. I pray everyday that those who are searching for a better life, for peace in their body, mind and soul might find this same truth. My goal is to maintain a strong and regular fellowship with those fellow believers I have come to know and love, in the sure hope, that in fellowship, there is a limitless source of support, guidance and encouragement. I pray that many more, whose hearts are open, would come to realise that simply by surrendering to their own belief, they might know the life changing power of God’s salvation.
1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17, Romans 1:1-17, Psalms 9:13-20, Proverbs 19:4-5