The First 15

Tuesday August 17, 2021

by David Alexander

Opening Prayer

God, I am here to go deeper and learn from You. Come Holy Spirit, speak to my heart and mind in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Romans 15:23-33

Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.

I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen.


We find Paul’s reference to the “contribution to the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem” in Paul’s other letters in the New Testament providing us insight into the dynamics facing the early church at this time. Persecution would eventually become widespread, but it began with the Christians living in Jerusalem.

In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul describes the church by saying, “Just as a body has many parts… its many parts form one body.” In verse 26 he goes on to say, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” This was a conviction tangibly expressed through this contribution collected from churches throughout the Roman Empire.

Would you pause with me today and ask, “God who is suffering right now?” As you listen, let me encourage you to allow the Holy Spirit to further reveal a tangible way you might be challenged to hurt with those who are hurting today.

Closing Prayer

Father, help me to live this day to the full, being true to You, in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say. Amen.

The First 15

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