Romans 16:1-16 ESV
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you. Paul is wrapping up his letter to the Romans and finishes by giving credit to some special people in his life. How great would it be to have someone as well known and important as Paul, announcing your name as being someone special. There is coming a day when someone even more important will be doing the same. As I was reading this I thought about what it will be like when Jesus is going though all the names of those who are special to Him, names of those who are His righteous and faithful followers. That is a list that I want to be on. Every pain, or disappointment, or moment of persecution will have been so worth it when that day finally comes and eternity with Jesus begins.
I wonder what Jesus will say about me. Am I someone who is considered as being a special friend of His? I don't know if I'm alone here, but whenever I look back on my life it isn't too long before something comes up, a bad attitude, bad habit, or something I did that I regret doing. When this happens its easy to feel very unworthy and I wonder if my name will even be mentioned at all. Why is this? Especially when it's about things that have been taken care of and I have been forgiven for. Scripture says that when our sins have been forgiven they will no longer be remembered against us. So when we do remember something we have been forgiven for and are still being haunted by them, there is only one person from whom that could be coming, the enemy. I am trying to get in the habit of being more aware of those thoughts and when things like that come up, know where those thoughts are coming from and ignore them since those things are no longer an issue as far as Jesus is concerned.
Every one of the people Paul mentions as being special were at one time as Paul said earlier in his letter, wretched sinners. They were people who failed at living a righteous life. They all, I'm sure, had many regrets from their past but in order for them to be the people of greatness that they became, they had to forget their past and put their faith in a loving, forgiving, Jesus and live life knowing their true identity in Him. Like them, rather than us living with regret from the past and our unworthiness, we need to live with the assurance of who we now are in Christ. We are His chosen ones who are loved dearly and have now become a part of His kingdom.
I was talking with a good friend today about how we become defeated by reliving our past and he told me about a song by Daniel O'Donnell called, "Only This Moment is Mine", part of the lyrics go; "there's no going back and we can't change the past or turn back the hands of time. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and I know that only this moment is Mine." If you would like to listen to it, click the link below.
So we need to make the most of it by giving it to God and letting Him continue turning us into the person He planned for us to be when He created us. All that I have and all that I am, I want to give over to Him and become all He wants me to be.
by Ken Edgerly
Daniel O'Donnell: Only This Moment is Mine.