...where he stayed three months.
Thoughts for Today:Paul had left Ephesus, traveling through Macedonia arriving in the province of Achaia. While in Greece ("where he stayed three months") he spent a lot of time in Corinth and it was from Corinth that Paul wrote his letter to the Romans. Although Paul had not yet visited Rome, believers there had started a church (thought to be Jews who had received the Spirit at Pentecost and brought their new faith home), and Paul wrote to them of his plans to visit. The letter to the Romans is perhaps the most complete explanation of Christianity in the Bible. It begins with the meaning of faith and salvation, an explanation of the relationship between Jews and Gentiles and then concludes with a list of practical guidelines for the church to follow.
I think it is interesting that the Holy Spirit chose to inspire Paul to write the letter to the Romans while in city of Corinth. Corinth, in an age of sexual immorality, was widely known for the licentious life-style of its citizens. The first three chapters of Romans deal specifically with man's sin and fallen nature. Perhaps Paul needed the vivid reminder of Corinth to fully express humanity's need for a Savior in the person of Jesus Christ. Often times when I am circled by the love and goodness of friends, family and fellow Christians I temporarily forget the evilness and depravity of man. Sometimes I too need a reminder. I think that is why mission work is so incredibly valuable for us -- it gets us out and into the real world -- where hunger, poverty, sexual abuse, drug addiction, murder, and AIDS are not just headlines -- but real facts of life.
Questions to Ponder:When was the last time you saw upfront and personal the consequences of sin? A friend of mine came back recently from a mission trip to South Africa truly grieved and changed by the experience. Seeing first hand and in graphic detail the travesty of AIDS gave him a whole new perspective and passion for service in the name of Jesus. He spoke these words in summary, "Food and medicine will help a lot, but those are only temporary fixes. The real problem is the life style. What the people need is a change in morality and that comes from Jesus -- He's the only way anything is ever going to change." Amen. Sign up for your church's next missionary trip. You will see the need for Jesus in a completely different way and with a whole new sense of urgency. If you cannot go now yourself, help another person go. If these two ideas seem impossible now, begin to pray for an area of the nation or world that is on your heart. Pray for healing, pray for real change through the power of Jesus Christ.