Thursday, February 20, 2020
From Help to Hope
“I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea.” (Romans 16:1 nkjv)
Thank God for the unsung heroes of the Bible. We hear a lot about people like Peter and Paul, but we tend to forget about others like Phoebe, Lydia, and Priscilla and Aquila.
Paul had some very good things to say about Phoebe. In Romans 16:1–2 he wrote, “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea . . . assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also” (nkjv).
The word Paul used in verse 2 for helper comes from a single Greek word that translates “benefactor.” In other words, she was a great benefactress to many. She must have been a successful businesswoman who shared her resources and finances to assist Paul and the church.
Then there was Lydia, whom the Book of Acts identifies as “a seller of purple” (16:14 nkjv). In that day, purple was the color of royalty. It meant that Lydia dealt with luxury goods. And she took her resources and supported the apostle Paul.
We read in the New Testament of Mary Magdalene, who traveled around with Jesus and the others and supported them as well.
And Paul introduces us to Aquila and Priscilla in Romans 16:3–4, saying, “Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus. In fact, they once risked their lives for me. I am thankful to them, and so are all the Gentile churches” (nlt).
Aquila and Priscilla weren’t preachers that we know of, but they helped preachers, including one named Apollos (see Acts 18:26).
Every follower of Christ has a very important role to play in God’s kingdom. We are to be helpers so that others don’t lose hope. Will you be that person for someone today?
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