First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.Romans 1:8(NASB)
Having established his official relationship as God's chosen apostle to these beloved Roman believers, Paul then grants us a peep into the window of his heart, as he gives grateful thanks to God for these precious followers of Christ.
He yearns to see them and to minister to them, and so he tells them of his eager plans to visit them shortly for their mutual edification, to encourage their spiritual development, and to strengthen their faith in the Lord.
The first and most important thing on the mind of Paul was thanksgiving for the faith these believers had in the Lord Jesus, because testimony of their trust in God had reached to the farthest extremity of the known world. Indeed, the proof of Paul's deep love towards these Christians was that he lifted them up, in continuous, fervent prayer to God, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
What an example we see in Paul of genuine affection towards his brothers and sisters in Christ and how important it is, in this fallen world, to be devoted to one another in love and to honour one another above ourselves, for though we are many, we are one Body in Christ and are called to love one another, just as Christ loved us.
It is by the lives we live, our love for one another, and the grace of the Lord Jesus reflected in our lives, that others will know that we are His disciples.
Let us be those who love each other deeply, fellowshiping with brotherly affection for the Body of Christ, and shining the lovely, life giving light of Christ into this sin soaked, darkened world. And let this outpouring of the love of Christ, draw many into a saving knowledge of our Saviour.
Heavenly Father, thank You for my brothers and sisters in Christ. May we grow together in love and demonstrate genuine affection for one another, while providing mutual edification and encouragement. May each member of the Body of Christ grow in grace as we wait for the any day return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.