How To Have a Heart For People | Romans 1:8–15
Have you ever wondered how to have a heart for people?
You know, as I was reading this passage of scripture and breaking it down, I realized just much Paul had a heart for people. How he genuinely had a love for the body of Christ. I also wondered if anyone is ever surprised because Paul said some very harsh things to other Christians. He was not afraid to call out sin, nor was he fearful to name names and use what could be considered strong language. In fact, we will see that even in this book, Paul will say some hard things. Yet, here we have Paul just oozing love on the believers in Rome.
Paul has never met most of the people he is writing this letter to. He did know that he was sometimes portrayed as a crazy radical who had dangerous teachings because of his enemies. However, he longed to visit these fellow believers in Rome and, together with them, the things of God. So he had this task of explaining to Christian whom he does not know, who have heard negative things about him, who he is, and why he wants to visit them and preach the gospel in Rome.
Look what Paul does; he shares with them how he has heard of their faith and shares how often he prays for them. What Paul is doing is sharing his heart about wanting to come and spend time with them to strengthen their faith and encourage them and be encouraged himself by them. He tells them that he has often desired to come and see them, but he has been providentially prevented. Now he hopes to come and preach. So Paul is going to use his gifts to serve the people in Rome that he still does not know, and he wants to benefit from them using their gifts to serve him, as they labor together to see the gospel go forth in Rome. I truly believe that the overall lesson for us here is that
God wants all of His children to have a heart for people.
I believe this passage just oozes that theme, so if you are willing and able, would you please stand out of respect for God’s Word as we read Romans 1:8-15 I will be reading from the English Standard version today.
I believe there are 5 lessons that we learn here when it comes to having a heart for people (1) we need to pray for fellow believers. (2) We need to equip others by utilizing spiritual gifts. (3) We need to encourage one another in ministry. (4) We need to evangelize and edify others. (5) We need to realize we are indebted to all people to proclaim the gospel.