Today, Monday April 26
Genuine and Lasting Friendships Romans 16:1-16 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. (vs. 3-4)
This last chapter of Romans is a remarkable chapter! In it Paul greeted at least twenty-six people by name, as well as two unnamed saints; and he also greeted several churches that were meeting in homes. He closed with greetings from nine believers who were with him in Corinth when he wrote the letter. What is the significance of this? It shows that Paul was a friend maker as well as a soul winner. He did not try to live an isolated life; he had friends in the Lord, and he appreciated them. They were a help to him personally and to his ministry.
The fact that a person has friends is evidence that they are someone who genuinely loves and cares about others! And usually a person that doesn’t have friends is a sign that they are a selfish and a self-centered individual. I’ve often said that you don’t need to go looking for friends but determine to be a caring and loving person who is willing to give you heart and life to others and you will be found! You will have more friends than you would have ever imagined.
I have met so many people over the years who complain to me that they have no friends and feel like no one really cares about them. It is so sad! My advice is always to encourage them to first establish a friendship with Jesus! I know that Jesus loves them, cares for them and has proven it by sacrificing His life on a rugged cross two thousand years ago. And I know Jesus really wants to be their friend.
John 15:13-15 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.”
It is so obvious that Paul loved and cared for these people at Rome as you read this chapter. He remembers their names, he remembers who they are, he remembers what they did, and he takes the time to write a letter and encourage them!
Remember, to have friends you must be a friend! I trust the Lord will bless you with genuine and lasting friendships built around a relationship with Jesus Christ!