You are full of goodness ...

I am fully convinced, my dear brothers and sisters, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well you can teach each other all about them. Even so, I have been bold enough to write about some of these points, knowing that all you need is this reminder. For by God’s grace, I am a special messenger from Christ Jesus to you Gentiles. I bring you the Good News so that I might present you as an acceptable offering to God, made holy by the Holy Spirit. ... My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. -Romans 15:14-16,20 NLT

Paul is beginning to wind down his letter to the Romans. He has spent much of his message speaking about the equality of the Gentiles and the Jews with respect to salvation. In a sense he is imparting his ministry to the ones that he himself has ministered to as he reminds them that he knows first hand that they are full of goodness. I love the way that Paul's ministry resembled the ministry of Christ. Like Jesus he made disciples by pouring himself into others.

I think that the apostle is calling the Romans to a similar process of disciple making. He builds them up by saying that they know his teachings so well that they are able to teach them to others. In these few words he seems to be inviting them to join him in the mission of pouring themselves into the lives of others. It reminds me that teaching is not enough unless what we have learned is shared with others in the context of a loving, disciple making, relationship.

Help us to make disciples the way that you made them Lord. Help us to follow the example that Paul writes of.

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