*PASSAGE: Romans Chapter 15 Verses 23 to 33.* “But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain. And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”
*This is the Word of God: Thanks be to God: *
*MESSAGE: The Theme for today is Sharing, Christian Obligation* Fort Jackson, some years ago, marked the anniversary of the first step taken by a guard at the tomb of an unknown soldier. It was a sight, to see the precision and gallantry of the guard as he took 21 steps, paused for 21 seconds and returned 21 more steps to honour those fallen warriors. The guards did this over and over again without flaws.
When I think of that, one word, obligation comes to mind. "These guards understood fundamentals of the word”.
As I ponder on this word, I asked, what if we all live up to this value as a people of faith and conviction? According to verse 27 of our passage, we all have Christian obligation towards others.
First we are obligated to serve each other (verses 25 and 26). Paul journeyed to so many countries just to fulfil his service to mankind. 1 Peter 4:10 also emphasizes the need for us to serve others faithfully with our gifts. We also have the obligation to encourage one another. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 tells us to do so and build others up.
It is our obligation as Christians to encourage others to believe in Christ, get strengthened to enable them overcome and stay faithful in this discouraging world. We are also obligated to help others to carry their burdens (Galatians 6:2). Just as Christ removed greatest burden and lighted the heavy loads in mankind, we must learn to help our brethren who are heavy-laden. Apostle Paul in verse 30 of our reading today solicits prayers of his brethren to enable him embark on his journey successfully. So we need each other's prayers, support and care as Christians. Not by choice but an obligation as instructed us by God.
*MEMORY VERSE: Romans Chapter 15 Verse 15 "For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings"*.
*English Methodist HYMN Book number 580*
1. Dismiss me not Thy Service, Lord,,
But train me for Thy will;
For even I, In fields so broad,
Some duties may fulfil;
And I will ask for no reward,
Except to serve Thee still.
2. How many serve, how many more
May to the service come;
To tend the vines, the grapes to store,
Thou dost appoint for some;
Thou hast Thy young men at the war,
Thy little ones at home.
3. All works are good, and each Is best
As most It pleases Thee;
Each worker pleases when the rest
He serves in charity;
And neither man nor work unblest
Wilt Thou permit to be.
4. Our Master all the work hath done
He asks of us to-day;
Sharing His service, every one
Share too His sonship may :
Lord, I would serve and be a son;
Dismiss me not, I pray.
*PRAYERS: Lord God, I need You every moment to inspire me to share with others whatever I have according to Thy will in Jesus' name. Amen.*
*Read - Day: Heb 12-13 Night: 1 Sam 12-13*[NewsNaira]
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