I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea; that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you; for she herself has also been a helper of many, and of myself as well.
Each year in December the media here in the USA spends time doing a “review of the year” as we approach the end of another calendar year. It seems natural as we plan for the next year to take time to think about what we have experienced and done in the current year that is drawing to a close. All of us only have so many years to live in this world and then we will face the Lord on Judgement Day. I can testify at age 61 that time seems to accelerate as we age and a lifetime goes by much quicker than we can ever imagine in our youth. What we leave behind us is our “legacy”, for good or bad. Our legacy is what we have chosen to make our life about on a day-to-day basis that accumulates over the years we are given by God. I doubt that anyone reading this would say that our legacy is not important, but do we see the value in a good legacy as we are making decisions on a daily basis? As we face each circumstance of our life, do we see how we can use it to honor God and bless people, or only concern ourselves with what works best in our favor. All the great saints of the Bible put God’s interests above their own as they lived a life of faith that pleased God. Do we do that? In the above verse, Paul testifies that Phoebe was a woman of faith that was leaving a great legacy of faithfulness and service for God’s glory and to be a benefit to others. Her name is recorded in God’s eternal word as an example of righteous living and a great legacy. She, like us, had daily decisions to make as to what her priorities were and who she would honor with her time, resources and energy. The testimony of God’s Word is that she chose wisely and her reward would be great from her Savior, Jesus Christ. All the world seeks to “get the most for themselves”, that is the natural way for mankind. The life of faith led and empowered by God’s Spirit is to live by love and sacrifice for God’s glory and to be a blessing to the “least of these.” As we quickly approach Christmas and New Year’s holidays, these are supposed to be times of giving to others and celebrating the gift of life we have been given. If you have asked Jesus Christ to be your Savior and received the gift of eternal life that comes by faith, you have much to be grateful for and much to celebrate. Let us all be motivated by deep gratitude in our day-to-day living and express that to others in word and deed for God’s glory to leave a legacy of being a person of great value as Phoebe was. Blessings!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Gary Houdek