An interesting conversation came up about verse 14, dealing with the anointing with oil. I expressed that oil is symbolic of the presence of God, and although I have no problem with anointing people with oil, we must understand that the real power in prayer is not in the symbol, but the Sovereign God that we pray to. I asked a question, "If prayer is our most powerful ally, why is it the one that we use the least?" To quote one of my colleagues,"It's time to stop saying your prayers, and start praying your prayers."
Bible Study went really well. We continued in our series in Romans 1:8-15. Paul was establishing his rapport with the Christians at Rome before laying out the theme of Romans. I was especially taken in by verse 14&15, "I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. "
These verses arrested my attention as I felt Paul's sense of obligation to preach based upon his calling to the ministry. Paul was under orders to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was in debt to this Gospel. Jesus paid a debt for us that he didn't owe because we owed a debt that we couldn't pay. It is this sense of urgency that should drive us to proclaim the Good News of Jesus.
When we look at the moral decline of our communities, the fight over power in the church, corrupt government, schools that under educate our children, racial injustice, violence, and so many other maladies, we should feel an obligation to preach the Gospel. I feel like Paul, I am ready to preach the Gospel because I am a debtor!
I will leave with a quote from one of my favorite preachers, Dr. Adrian Rogers, "We don't need social reform, we need people saved. All social reform will do is make the world a better place to go to hell from."
Pray for me as I have several meetings tomorrow.