For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.Romans 1:11-12 ESV
In his greeting to the Romans, whom he has never actually met, Paul says he is longing to see them. The indication is that there are some things that must be done in person. His heart is aching to be present with them. Two things are driving his desire:
- Impartation is done in person. This is not teaching. He could write them with information, but he must be present to make impartation. He knows that face to face, his gift will enable him to strengthen them.
- There is a mutuality that comes only when we’re together. The great apostle says that they have something he needs. There is a comfort, an encouragement, that flows from one believer to another as they share their faith in person. We need one another. God designed us that way.
As we get together today, let’s go expecting. I expect that the ministry gift will impart something to me that will strengthen me. I also expect that my faith will encourage others, and that their faith will do the same for me. Life is challenging. We need each other.