Romans 1:8-15: Window into the heart of a Christian
A ‘Freudian Slip’ is supposedly a slip of the pen or the tongue that reveals what you really think about something. If you were writing ‘friend’ but wrote ‘fiend’ some might think that you are revealing what you subconsciously think of someone. Or if you were speaking of, a rich women born to privilege as ‘the lazy of the Manor.’ This too would be thought to expose an inner contempt. As we look into our next section in Romans, we are given a window into Paul’s Christian life. He certainly is not intending to speak about himself in any deliberate way, but as he speaks to the Romans about his prayers, and desires he gives us a look into a healthy Christian’s soul. Paul has never met these Christians, yet he is full of love and intent towards them, in divulging details of his intentions, past plans, prayers and desires he models in many areas what the healthy Christian life is supposed to look like.
I am not sure what your experience of the Christian life is like but mine tends to ebb and flow, and one of the things that wakes me up is insight into the lives of other Christians. Many a time I have had my heart challenged by reading a missionary’s biography, a martyr’s death, or a faithful pastor’s diary of a generation gone by. When I see their motives, their desires, their willingness to suffer, their singlemindedness, their prayers, their faith, their obedience, I am challenged. In their heat my coldness is exposed, in their intensity my blandness is revealed, in their energy my listlessness is shown, their love shows up my lovelessness. Well, today as we look at Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are given a look in the heart of a pastor, a missionary, an evangelist, a prayer warrior, and a servant. I trust as we look at his heart on fire for Jesus some of the embers of his passion will reignite the wet wood of your devotion.
We are going to look at his prayers. His desires, his attitudes, and his service.