“Greet one another with a holy kiss.” ( Romans 16:16)
God works through people and the reason why relationships matter the most. One person who enphasized relationships was Apostle Paul. In one letter he cited over 30 different friends whom he had established a working relationship in the cause to win souls for Christ.
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea” ( Romans 16:1), he starts. Then rememembers, “Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in the ministry of Christ Jesus” ( vv 4). He goes on to add: “Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person from the province of Asia to become a follower of Christ. Give my greetings to Mary, who has worked so hard for your benefit. Greet Andronicus and Junia,my fellow Jews, who were in prison with me” ( vv 6-7).
The list of relationships in Paul’s life seems endless: “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” ( vv 14-15). And of course there was also, “Timothy, my fellow worker, sends you his greetings, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my fellow Jews” ( vv 21).
All this leads to an important question: can you count as many relationships who feature in your life as co-workers in Christ! Paul figured out that he couldn’t do it all alone. He relied on people to get God’s work done. He noted down their names and took time to greet them personally.
We could equally pick up from him and start investing in relationships. Through these dear friend in Christ, God opens doors to extend His kingdom.
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray to emphasize relationships in my life, through whom together we accomplish your work, and this I pray in Jesus’s name!
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“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).
Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.
As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.
Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).
In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!