Scripture Reading: Romans 16:1-16
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.” (Romans 16:1,2)
In the final chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Romans, we find Paul recognizing and honoring a number of people. Some of the names may be familiar, but most are not. Paul often concluded his epistles recognizing and giving thanks to certain people whom he considered worthy of receiving honor. But let’s go deeper. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to include these names in the Bible. God wanted these names preserved throughout the ages in order to acknowledge their participation in His service.
It is important to give credit to whom credit is due and honor to whom honor is due. Recognizing others demonstrates one’s appreciation for the accomplishments of others. Paul used recognition to encourage the saints. Throughout the concluding verses of the epistle, Paul pointed out the good qualities of these people.
Read through the verses carefully and notice what Paul said about the people he was honoring: the servant of the church (v. 1), patron of many (v. 2), my fellow worker (v. 3), the first convert to Christ in Asia (v. 5), hard worker (v. 6), my fellow prisoner (v. 7), my beloved (v. 9), our fellow worker in Christ (v. 12), chosen in the Lord (v. 13). Don’t you know that these people were encouraged when they heard their names read in Paul’s epistle?
Recognizing and honoring others is important to God. God included the names of certain people in Scripture in order to recognize their faithful service to Him and to honor them for their participation in the ministry. Let’s be encouragers of others. We all need it!
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the faithful people that You put into my life, many who encouraged me, prayed for me, and came alongside of me in ministry. Thank You for Dick and Betty, Henry and Carolyn, Joe and Gin, Carl and Susan, Mike and Vicki, Bob and Carol, Bob and Nancy, Frank, John, Willie, Jimmy, Sylvia, Charlie, Steve, Jerry, Don, Mike, Harry, and the list could go on and on. Thank You for these and the many others who have been faithful servants with me in ministry.
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