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“I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:29)
Faithful gospel preachers are men devoted to the cause of Christ, devoted to Christ, his gospel, his people, and his glory. Such men are, by the blessing of God the Holy Ghost upon them and upon those who hear them, a great source of blessedness to the people they serve.
Paul here expressed great confidence that his preaching at Rome would be blessed of God and that he and God’s saints there would be refreshed together in the bonds of Christ.
It is sweet beyond description to a preacher to know that he has an interest in the prayers of those for whom and among whom he labors. Paul knew that the saints at Rome prayed for him incessantly. And he had been enabled of God the Holy Ghost to pray for these Roman believers. And he drew the well-founded conclusion from those facts that he would come to them in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.
When a faithful pastor, the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, is led and enabled of God to pray for the people he serves, and the people are led and enabled of God to pray for him, the Lord blesses and will bless both preacher and his people by his labor.
How encouraging it is to any preacher to know that he lives in the affections of the people he serves and that they daily go to Court of Heaven to remember him before the Throne of Grace. The thought of this, that the people are at prayer for him, lifts his soul when he hardly knows how to pray for himself.
Paul knew that he would come to Rome in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ, because his heart was there, and God was his witness that without ceasing he prayed for them (Romans 1:9-10). More than that, the Lord himself had assured him that he bear witness of him at Rome (Acts 23:11). It is truly blessed to be carried on the wings of faith and prayer to the Throne of Grace!
How anxious those Roman saints must have been to hear this man sent of God when he came to preach to them! I cannot help thinking that they must have assembled before him much like Cornelius and his household assembled before Peter, saying, “Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God” (Acts 10:33).
Therefore, I “beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).