I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
What do so many of the people Paul mentions have in common? They were servants of God. That is how Paul identified himself at the beginning of his letter to the Romans: a servant of Jesus Christ. And the people who Paul speaks so highly of were those who could identify themselves in the same way. He was drawn to those likeminded and like-hearted, those who were willing to set themselves aside and dedicate their lives to God. And perhaps it is also true that Paul’s example rubbed off on other people. When they saw Paul the Apostle serving tirelessly, giving his all for Christ, and continuing on faithfully, perhaps they were inspired to do the same.
We also get to be part of this group, to carry on the tradition, so to speak, and dedicate ourselves as servants to God, ministering to Him, to our fellow servants, to the world around us, all for Jesus’ sake. That way we honor God and bless His church and His people and minister to the lost, as well. We have an opportunity to serve in the church that God has placed us in and have an impact on people as we’re used of the Lord in whatever ways we can be used.
These people all meant something very special to Paul. They impacted his life, and here forever we have the names of some early Christians who put themselves out there, who didn’t sit back idle, but got involved in the work of God. And our lives as followers of Christ should be marked by service. Before Paul was an example, Jesus is our great example of what it means to serve selflessly, to give sacrificially, and to love God and others through our obedience to Him.
There are many kinds of ways to serve the Lord. There are tangible things we can do, but we can also pray for others and offer encouragement. We can give not just our money, but our time and attention to people. We come alongside. We join in. We work together. We help how we can. And everyone benefits from that. May we simply be willing to take up that high calling as a servant of Jesus Christ and give Him our best and our all.