Lord, I open my heart to You. Speak to me today through Your Word.
Read Romans 16:1-16
 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae.  I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.  Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.  They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.  Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.  Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.  Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.  Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord.  Greet Urbanus, our co-worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.  Greet Apelles, whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.  Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.  Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.  Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.  Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the other brothers and sisters with them.  Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them.  Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWomen were vital in Paul's work. Note the ones listed today.
I’m good with faces, but names? Not so much. Paul, however, was evidently good with both: in the space of 16 verses, he lists 29 people, often including personal details. What can we learn from this passage of the Bible, and what might God want to teach us from it? First, although Paul was a man with incredible apostolic, leadership, intellectual and evangelistic gifts from God, he needed people and could/did not go it alone. Paul viewed some of these people as essential to fulfilling his mission and the Gospel being preached. He cites Priscilla and Aquila as risking their lives for him (3,4). Second, Paul hadn’t used these people or taken them for granted. Paul was profoundly grateful for them and cared deeply for them: “My dear friend Epenetus” (5), “Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord” (8, ESV), “the beloved Persis” (12, ESV). Third, although Paul was big and tough enough to live through all kinds of hardship and danger (see 2 Cor. 11:23-28), this world-changing apostle so appreciated Rufus’s mother being like a mother to him that he made sure she received a special mention (13). It is important to honor and cherish the “mothers” God has given us.
For whom are you grateful to God? Why not write them a short message expressing that? Reflect on how you might carry on their model.
Lord, in every way, enhance my skills, and embolden my heart as I serve You today.