June 29 – Today’s Readings – Romans 15-16 and Proverbs 29
Do you have “a list” of people for whom you are grateful in the Lord? Paul shares his “to greet” list in Romans 16 – “our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea” – “Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me.” – “my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia” – “Mary, who worked very hard for you” – “Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me” – “Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord” – “Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ” – “my dear friend Stachys” – “Apelles, tested and approved in Christ”- “the household of Aristobulus” – “Herodion, my relative” – “the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord” – “Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard” – “my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard” – “Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too”.
I often think of all the people I know who have been faithful in the Lord and faithful to me, whether it is in friendship or ministry or both. I think of those, who by steadfast work in the Lord have shown me an example of what it is to be devoted to Jesus – I think of family members who have supported me in good times and bad – I think of brothers and sisters in Christ who would never have been my friends if it were not for a shared passion for the Church of Christ and His vision for the world – I think of those Saints of God who are not half-hearted or half-baked in their desire to serve God. These are the people on my “living hero” list. When I need encouragement, these are the people I can count on to pray with me or for me or help me in more “natural” ways. These people are the real Church of Jesus Christ. I would rather have twelve of these Christians in my life than twelve thousand who were not “true blue”.
Paul had built a support system of people in his life that he could count on as friends, adoptive mothers, fellow-laborers, and disciples. We too function at our best when we can compile our “list” and meditate on the goodness God has shown us through their exemplary lives.
Go ahead – make your list – then pray for them all, that God would keep them and make them an even closer part of your shared relationship to Christ.
1. Give an example of a still-living person who has become part of your personal hero list – tell why.
2. Give an example of people who became helping heroes in Scripture.