In fact, my visit to you has been delayed so long because I have been preaching in these places. But now I have finished my work in these regions, and after all these long years of waiting, I am eager to visit you.
I am planning to go to Spain, and when I do, I will stop off in Rome. And after I have enjoyed your fellowship for a little while, you can provide for my journey.
But before I come, I must go to Jerusalem to take a gift to the believers there. For you see, the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have eagerly taken up an offering for the poor among the believers in Jerusalem.
They were glad to do this because they feel they owe a real debt to them. Since the Gentiles received the spiritual blessings of the Good News from the believers in Jerusalem, they feel the least they can do in return is to help them financially.
As soon as I have delivered this money and completed this good deed of theirs, I will come to see you on my way to Spain. And I am sure that when I come, Christ will richly bless our time together.
Dear brothers and sisters, I urge you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to join in my struggle by praying to God for me. Do this because of your love for me, given to you by the Holy Spirit.
Pray that I will be rescued from those in Judea who refuse to obey God. Pray also that the believers there will be willing to accept the donation I am taking to Jerusalem.
Then, by the will of God, I will be able to come to you with a joyful heart, and we will be an encouragement to each other. And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen. (Romans 15:22-33 (NLT)
Why do you go to church, if you go at all? What do you like best? What do you not like so much?
When I pastored in Southern California, many new-to-town visitors wanted to know what our church had to offer them. Today, this shopping for a good church is more prevalent than ever.
I often hear people say they want community, especially when it comes to church. Ok, but community—genuine community—requires commitment, a mutual commitment.
Paul speaks of bringing a gift to the church in Jerusalem, donated by other believers. He also expects the believers in Rome to provide for his travel.
Real church community, as seen in the early church (Acts 2:44-47), requires a commitment on everyone's part.
So when you're looking for a church, consider what you're willing to give rather than what you might get. ©Word-Strong_2016