This very evening, as I write on the day before I send this out, I have had dinner with three of my new Christian friends. We talked about meeting together to study the Bible and we talked about prayer, but mostly we had a good time and laughed a lot and told each other stories. We shared time together and in that time we could not help but share our faith. It wasn’t always comfortable talking about and sharing our faith but we did it anyway. We even looked up the verse in Matthew 18:20 — For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (NLT). In the passage below we read the names of seventeen of Paul’s friends. It is clear from how he is writing, how much he feels for these people. And this is a feeling I can really relate to as a new Christian. I trust my new Christian friends on a level far higher than the rest of the world. And I know from experience, even in the short time I have known Jesus in my life, that his promise, written in the Gospel of Matthew, is actually true — when two or more of his followers gather together and acknowledge the Lord, then he is there with them.
Romans 16:10-16 NLT
Greet Apelles, a good man whom Christ approves. And give my greetings to the believers from the household of Aristobulus. Greet Herodion, my fellow Jew. Greet the Lord’s people from the household of Narcissus. Give my greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, the Lord’s workers, and to dear Persis, who has worked so hard for the Lord. Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me. Give my greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who meet with them. Give my greetings to Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and to Olympas and all the believers who meet with them. Greet each other in Christian love. All the churches of Christ send you their greetings.
In today’s passage, Paul reminds us that we should all remember our friends in Christ. There are a number of people who have meant an awful lot to me (I do hope they know who they are!). We are nothing without the fellowship of other Christians. My goal today, therefore is to encourage those who read this daily devotional, to reach out to each other, and all those they meet regularly in their communities. I want us all to remember that we are all all in this life together. What an honour to have your name recorded in the Holy Scriptures! I hope those three with whom I spent this evening will know how much I appreciate their friendship. Or should I say, their fellowship. Amen.
2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33, Romans 16:10-27, Psalms 26:1-12, Proverbs 20:19