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Focus Verses: Romans 1:8-12
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God's will the way may be opened for me to come to you. 11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.
The first chapter of Romans is so loaded with important statements and profound theological concepts that we might overlook Paul's relationship with the people he is addressing. He had a deep pastoral affection for them, he thanked God for them, he constantly remembered them in prayer, and he longed to be encouraged by them. He was eager for an opportunity to see them face-to-face and to spend time with them. He wanted to encourage them in their faith and impart a spiritual blessing to them.
Response & Action:
I want to have meaningful and precious relationships with my Christian brothers and sisters. I will cultivate my Christian friendships by following Paul's example. I will thank God for my Christian friends and be intentional about praying for them. I will seize opportunities to spend time with them. When we are together, I will consciously look for ways to be a spiritual blessing to them. I will make an effort to encourage them in their walk with Christ and look to them for encouragement. I will also communicate my affection for them in my words and actions.
Thank you, loving God, for the Christian people you have placed in my life. Bless them and help them to grow stronger in you with each passing day. Help me to be a true friend and blessing to them. Help me to encourage them and make the most of every opportunity I have to spend time with them. May our life in you and our walk with Christ Jesus be enriched by our times spent together. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Hebrews 10:24-25
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Making Friends and Making Them Count
by D. Mason Rutledge