Romans 15:24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
Spain is a beautiful country. I’ve visited it twice and enjoyed every day that I was there. During my first visit, I traveled northwards from Madrid to San Sebastian and covered half of the country by coach and train. On my second visit, my wife Evelyn and I stayed for a week on the Costa del Sol, just below Valencia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. It was also a very beautiful region and I got to practice my Castilliano Spanish in many stores, cafes, and restaurants.
It’s always been my intention to go back to Spain to visit the Andalusian South. I’d also like to see Gibraltar and look across the Mediterranean and see the coast of Africa. I might also include heading West to visit Portugal. My Dad loved to visit Portuguese ports when he was a merchant seaman.
Whether I’ll get there or not depends upon how much of a priority I make this goal. It could just be paella in the sky as far as my life is concerned.
Paul also had the intention to visit Spain, but he never made it. When he was writing to the Roman church, he hoped that he could visit them on his way westwards. He did make it to Rome, but in chains. He never reached Spain because he was executed by the emperor Nero when the Christian community was first executed.
I like the fact that Paul had plans for his future, even in the midst of his trials. It reveals the optimistic side to his character. He had dreams and goals for extending the influence of Christianity and sharing the Gospel from one side of the Mediterranean to the other. And in Paul’s lifetime, that meant covering the whole civilized world. What a marvelous goal!
Today, we are given many opportunities to share the Gospel throughout our own individual worlds and all cross the globe. We can share our faith and pray for the people we meet today, but we can also send prayers and devotions like this one to everyone we know across the internet. That way, we will be fulfilling part of Paul’s mission and Christ’s ministry to the entire world.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Paul’s enthusiasm, faith, and mission. He lived his life sharing the Gospel with all kinds of people from everywhere. His faith sharing has come down to us through the scriptures. Help us to spread this mission and ministry amongst our own individual communities. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.