Beyond the Gospels: Romans 15:22-33

Today’s Scripture: Romans 15:22-33
[Click the reference above to read online.]

… I have longed for many years to come to you…
Romans 15:23 ESV
Paul’s longing to be with those he couldn’t be with, makes me think of some long distance friendships I have. People I love, whom I hardly ever get to see. Some I haven’t seen in decades, primarily because we are separated by hundreds of miles. Others live just a few minutes away, but our lives are distanced by circumstances where we can’t get together often, maybe just meeting in town for a few minutes here or there, unexpectedly. Our relationships limited by time and space.

It used to be difficult for me to make friends in a place when I knew I wouldn’t be there very long. Anticipating the pain of saying good-bye and ending a relationship was just too much and didn’t seem worth it. But as I’ve grown as a Believer, I’ve come to recognize the eternal nature of some of my dearest relationships. Relationships with other Believers.

I’ve come to embrace the eternal perspective, that if I can’t spend time with a beloved fellow-Believer now, I know the time is coming when we will have unlimited time to spend together enjoying one another’s company. Some relationships I’ve begun have lasted only a few minutes here on earth, but I’ve left their presence knowing I will see them again and get to know them better in eternity. Looking forward to seeing them again.

Today is Thanksgiving and I’m missing many I would love to be with, share thanks giving with. Some separated by distance, others by death. Even in the separation, there is anticipation of a future gathering. A heart-filling hope of reunion.

Remember and be thankful for Jesus making the way for eternal life with Him and with those we love in Christ Jesus.

Remember to pray for those you love who do not yet have salvation. Pray for them to be included in the final gathering.

Remember we have much to look forward to in Christ Jesus and every relationship with every Believer is eternal in its nature.

I know that when I come to you I will come
in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
Romans 15:29
Lord, thank You for the blessing of eternal relationships.
Thank You for Your grace and mercy.
Thank You for Your continued pursuit of those who
have not yet surrendered their lives to You.

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