So, my dear friends, don't take my rather bold and blunt language as criticism. It's not criticism. I'm simply underlining how very much I need your help in carrying out this highly focused assignment God gave me,
this priestly and gospel work of serving the spiritual needs of the non-Jewish outsiders so they can be presented as an acceptable offering to God, made whole and holy by God's Holy Spirit.
Looking back over what has been accomplished and what I have observed, I must say I am most pleased - in the context of Jesus, I'd even say proud, but only in that context.
I have no interest in giving you a chatty account of my adventures, only the wondrously powerful and transformingly present words and deeds of Christ in me that triggered a believing response among the outsiders.
In such ways I have trailblazed a preaching of the Message of Jesus all the way from Jerusalem far into northwestern Greece.
This has all been pioneer work, bringing the Message only into those places where Jesus was not yet known and worshiped.
My text has been, Those who were never told of him - they'll see him! Those who've never heard of him - they'll get the message!
And that's why it has taken me so long to finally get around to coming to you.
But now that there is no more pioneering work to be done in these parts, and since I have looked forward to seeing you for many years,
I'm planning my visit. I'm headed for Spain, and expect to stop off on the way to enjoy a good visit with you, and eventually have you send me off with God's blessing.
First, though, I'm going to Jerusalem to deliver a relief offering to the Christians there.