S15P4 – Brotherly love: desiring growth in others

Romans 15: 13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.

In his letter to his brothers and sisters in Rome, Paul has given much instruction in proper christian living. In this portion of the letter, he has been reminding them of the hope they have, whether Jew or Gentile, that one day they will share in God’s glory. The previous verses remind them of scripture that details this hope. Paul now goes beyond simply instructing the church and prays for them.

Paul’s prayer is a complement to his teaching. After reminding the church of its hope, he then asks God to solidify that hope within them. He asks God to help them “get it” by experiencing this hope through their walk of faith. Saying that prayer is an indication that Paul truly desires that his audience experience the knowledge of this hope. It is not enough to simply give them the information. Paul desires that it produce growth and turns his desire into the act of prayer.

Proper brotherly love desires that others grow closer to God in hope, faith, love and all godly things. When we teach others the things of God, we should desire that our audience have a living understanding of these things. We should desire that God intervene and cause them to take root in the listener and grow to maturity. Father, give us hearts that desire for our brothers and sisters spiritual growth in knowledge, wisdom, love and all spiritual things that you provide.