We who have strong faith should help the weak with their problems. We should not please only ourselves.
We should all please our neighbors. Let us do what is good for them. Let us build them up.
Even Christ did not please himself. It is written, "Those who make fun of you have made fun of me also."(Psalm 69:9)
Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us strength to go on. They cheer us up and give us hope.
Our God is a God who strengthens you and cheers you up. May he help you agree with each other as you follow Christ Jesus.
Then you can give glory to God with one heart and voice. He is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christ has accepted you. So accept one another in order to bring praise to God.
I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews. He teaches us that God is true. He shows us that God will keep the promises he made to the founders of our nation.
Jesus became a servant of the Jews so that people who are not Jews could give glory to God for his mercy. It is written, "I will praise you among those who aren't Jews. I will sing praises to you." (2 Samuel 22:50; Psalm 18:49)
Again it says, "You non-Jews, be full of joy. Be joyful together with God's people." (Deuteronomy 32:43)
And again it says, "All you non-Jews, praise the Lord. All you nations, sing praises to him." (Psalm 117:1)
And Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will grow up quickly. He will rule over the nations. Those who aren't Jews will put their hope in him." (Isaiah 11:10)
May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.
My brothers and sisters, I am sure that you are full of goodness. What you know is complete. You are able to teach one another.
I have written to you very boldly about some things. I wanted you to think about them again. The grace of God has allowed me
to serve Christ Jesus among those who aren't Jews. My duty as a priest is to preach God's good news. Then the non-Jews will become an offering that pleases God. The Holy Spirit will make the offering holy.
Because I belong to Christ Jesus, I can take pride in my work for God.
I will not try to speak of anything except what Christ has done through me. He has been leading those who aren't Jews to obey God. He has been doing this by what I have said and done.
He has given me power to do signs and miracles. He has given me the power of the Holy Spirit. From Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum I have finished preaching the good news about Christ.
I have always wanted to preach the good news where Christ was not known. I don't want to build on what someone else has started.
It is written, "Those who were not told about him will understand. Those who have not heard will know what it all means." (Isaiah 52:15)
That's why I have often been kept from coming to you.
Now there is no more place for me to work in those areas. For many years I have been longing to see you.
So I plan to see you when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while I am passing through. And I hope you will help me on my journey there. But first I want to enjoy being with you for a while.
Now I am on my way to Jerusalem to serve God's people there.
The believers in Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to take an offering for those who were poor among God's people in Jerusalem.
They were happy to do it. And of course they owe it to them. Those who aren't Jews have shared from the Jews' spiritual blessings. So the non-Jews should share their earthly blessings with the Jews.
I want to finish my task. I want to make sure that the poor in Jerusalem have received the offering. Then I will go to Spain. On my way I will visit you.
I know that when I come to you, I will come with the full blessing of Christ.
Brothers and sisters, I am asking you through the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray for me with the love the Holy Spirit provides.
Pray that I will be saved from those in Judea who do not believe. Pray that my work in Jerusalem will be accepted by God's people there.
Then, as God has planned, I will come to you with joy. Together we will be renewed.
May the God who gives peace be with you all. Amen.