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Romans 16:1: I Commend To You Our Sister Phoebe, A Servant Of The Church At Cenchreae

Romans 16:1

[1] I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, (ESV)

Have you ever known someone who was all about having a title? There are people who want to be the leader of an organization, a board, or a committee. It becomes evident fairly quickly that their motivation is not to be a blessing to others, but rather, they desire to "be in charge." If you forget that they are in charge they will be sure to remind you of their new authority.

Paul is commending this woman, Phoebe, to the church at Rome. Notice that he describes her as a servant. Not much of a title. Or is it? Paul himself was an apostle. He was called by God in a very special way. He was used to write much of the New Testament. He healed the sick. He performed other miracles. In the beginning of this letter to the Romans he says, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus." Interesting.

Getting back to Phoebe, the word that describes her is "servant." The word for servant that Paul uses is the same word that we find for "deacon" in Paul's letters to Titus and Timothy. He does not call her a deaconess, although he could have. He recognizes that she is a person devoted to serving Christ's kingdom. Phoebe was not about titles. She was about serving. And Paul took note of her.

Paul mentions that Phoebe was serving at the church in Cenchreae. This would have been a port city near Corinth, where Paul was writing the letter to Rome. Phoebe was assigned with the task of delivering this very important letter, that we are reading today, to Rome. She was trusted. She was faithful. She was a blessing. Is it because of a title? No, she was all of those things because she was a servant.

Are you serving the Lord in some way? Whatever it is that you are doing, do it for the Lord, and not for personal praise. Whether you have a title or not, find your greatest joy in being a servant. Remember, that your Savior is the God of the universe. He humbled himself and became a servant (Philippians 2).


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