“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea.” Romans 16:1
The final Chapter/Letter to the Romans by Apostle Paul. What joy it brought to my soul this morning to read the names of the servants of God that had served with Paul throughout the churches and the roles they played. I imagined my own name being written down in the books of Heaven as to the service that’s being provided in New Mexico in fellowship and service with Gloria Jones and Dewey Moede.
To say that my time here is a blessing isn’t enough. From the first step inside the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Magdalena to the final dinner prepared by Pastor Paul Holt, the Spirit was moving. I wept as my heart was overwhelmed with the music by their worship leaders. I sang and spoke and listened to the sermon being delivered by a man of God who was filled with the Spirit and wisdom of God and thought to myself, “Shari, you are blessed, don’t forget it.”
To be in service to the King of the World isn’t something to be taken lightly. And yet, we do. Or at least I do. Gloria and I traveled to Silver City, NM for more site seeing of this beautiful State. We witnessed to the people in the shops and left broken hearted as realized that our message wasn’t received as we’d hoped.
When I asked an artist at one local shop about being a Christian, she quickly said, “I’m Lutheran, that means I’m fine, right?”
To which my reply was “No, being a Lutheran won’t save you, only Christ can do that. She replied “that’s a personal decision.”
“Very personal I responded.” And went on to explain about my salvation experience. She was kind and took my business card. Perhaps some seeds were sown.
Another young woman in another shop questioned why we were in town. Upon explaining about my speaking and singing, she told us she was of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I questioned her about her belief in Christ alone. She said she believed, but that Joseph Smith was a prophet, not to be worshiped but to be believed. She misunderstood that that statement also meant that she was saying the bible was not the only word of God and that it was incorrect according to their belief. She said that “We were all the same.”
We are not. Apostle Paul was commending people who had laid their lives on the line for what they believed. Not for assumptions or for catering to misguided beliefs. The body of Christ must stand strong in our convictions. Having hard conversations like those and others I’ve had this week may seem like I’m losing the battle, but Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:6 “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”
We do not know who may come after us and share the news in a way that turns their stories into testimonies of salvation. All I can do is be faithful to what I know as truth.
I feel the Lord commending my soul today just as Paul commended Phebe and the other men and women listed in Paul’s letters. And I want to encourage you to speak Jesus wherever you are. For me, oh my stars! It’s New Mexico! What a joy and a privilege to be in this place. The mission field isn’t a foreign land (necessarily). It’s the street you live on, your home, wherever you are. God has a work for us to do. It’s a very real assignment.
Paul listed one after another who had ministered with him in various capacities. Will you be listed? And what will it say? God bless you! We are co laborers in Christ and I want to hear what’s going on in your world. Write me and let me know!