Paul in Romans 15:14-33 shares a personal job review of sorts. He shares his past ministry (Rom 15:14-22) and future plans (Rom 15:23-33). He wants the believers in Rome to know what he has accomplished and what He hopes to accomplish. It offers us some insight into what a personal kingdom job review might look like for each of us.
Paul begins in Romans 15:14-22 by describing his specific calling as an apostle to the Gentiles (non-Jews). He was uniquely called to ministry by Christ Himself. He saw his call to minister to Gentiles as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. His ministry strategy was to establish leaders. He would call and raise up leaders who would serve as church planters. This strategy served as a genesis of a church planting movement.
Paul knew what he was called to do and went about fulfilling it with the Holy Spirit’s help. Two truths become clear to me upon the reading of Paul’s commitment to His calling. First, I am only called to accomplish what God has set me apart to do for Him. Secondly, reaching an area is not just by one person wanting to reach another person, but also through the proper leadership being established to see a movement begun and continued for the Lord’s glory.
All believers share the same purpose, to know God and make Him known. For Crosswinds, we are committed to meeting children, teens, and adults whenever they are in their spiritual journey to encourage them to take their next step in their relationship with God and others to advance His kingdom. We believe God has called us to multiply Christ-followers, disciple-makers, small groups, campuses, and churches so that the people in our region will have a repeated opportunity to hear the gospel and experience the love of Christ. Every church needs to determine their particular niche in kingdom building and every believer their specific role in seeing it fulfilled in context to their local church family. A crucial question all followers of Christ must ask is, “What has God specifically called me to do as part of His church?” And, I would add, “Am I doing it?”
Paul continues in Romans15:23-33 to discuss his future ministry plans. He speaks of these plans by requesting the believers in Rome pray for Him in these endeavors. The first request is that he will be rescued from unbelievers in Jerusalem. God answered this one interestingly. Paul is arrested and kept from being killed in Jerusalem. The second request is that the gift he brings to the church in Jerusalem will be accepted. We’re never told in Scripture how the gift was received, just that it was indeed delivered. The third request is that Paul might reach Rome. This request is answered, but again uniquely. He’s brought to Rome as a prisoner. The importance of Paul’s request is not how they are answered, but that he made the request, showing a dependency on God and appreciation for the prayers of others. When we pray, we need to leave the details to God. Prayer is not about getting what we want but partnering with God’s will. Paul’s account certainly exemplifies the power of prayer and what it looks like to surrender to God’s will.
If we are to joyfully serve God, as he has called us to do, we need the Lord’s power and presence in our life. We also need the fellowship and assistance of fellow Believers. Paul’s sharing of His past kingdom work and future plans demonstrates this well. Paul’s kingdom job review leads us to one of our own. Believers ought to know their personal ministry assignment. Then they ought to ask if they are accomplishing it or not. The good news is that we can always start anew, learning from our past and pressing on in our calling. Paul stated it this way, “ Friends, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14). There is no better place to be than where God has called us in our journey of knowing Him and making Him known. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!