Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Paul’s Entourage

Have you ever picked a book up off your shelf and wondered, “Have I read this?” You read the back jacket and leaf through some pages, and you’re still not sure. The average human has a limited memory capacity. That is why I love doing my daily Bible reading. I highly recommend it. There are so many things one misses or forgets over time. Even though I know I have read the Bible through several times, I often say to myself, “I don’t remember that.” Case in point was my reading yesterday in the Book of Acts or Acts of the Apostles.

The Book of Acts was written by Luke. Luke was a physician, a Gentile, and a close friend and traveling companion of the Apostle Paul. In fact, in Philippians, Paul refers to Luke as a “fellow laborer.” Luke also personally knew Peter and the other disciples.

In Chapter 20:4-6, we read, “Several men were traveling with him. They were Sopater son of Pyrrhus from Berea; Aristarchus and Secundus from Thessalonica; Gaius from Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus from the province of Asia. They went on ahead and waited for us at Troas. After the Passover ended, we boarded a ship at Philippi in Macedonia and five days later joined them in Troas, where we stayed a week.”

Paul has quite an entourage, don’t you think? Have you ever heard of these guys? I didn’t remember them. What this story reminded me of is how many unknown, unnamed faithful people have served the cause of Christ. Sopater and Aristarchus are not as famous as Matthew or John, but they are no less important.

I know there is a little part of every pastor who yearns to be the next Billy Graham or as famous as Joel Osteen. However, for every one of them, there are thousands of faithful servants pastoring tiny churches all over this country. They are preaching the gospel, sharing the truth, ministering to their communities. We will never know their names.

The same goes for every single one of us. All of us are called to love and to serve, first in our families, then in our communities. The world may never know our names, but God does. He created you. He called you. As Psalm 139 reminds us, “You [God] know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord” (Psalm 139:2-4).

Yes, God knows you, and that’s all that really matters. So, continue to do what you do to serve the Lord, and one day you will hear Jesus say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

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