“We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn’t live to please Himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” Romans 15:2-4, NLT
“The Hope and Peace In Helping Others!”
The Holy Spirit directs us in great and practical ways. This is very evident in the way we are called to live, and to treat each other. What often is overlooked in Paul’s letters, are his personal commendations to people who assisted him along his journeys. Paul took the time to thank each one personally; referring to their names, and occasionally emphasizing something personal about how they affected him. Some of the names we readily recognize, and others we do not. At the end of Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome, he mentions “28” individuals, whom he thanks, for assisting him in his ministry (Romans 16). Paul also mentions Phoebe, who was the leader and; as some authorities identify, pastor, of the Church in Cenchrea. Although Paul did not know most of the people he commended; they had sustained him through prayer and support. Paul had mentored and inspired them through his ministry. In a divisive atmosphere where followers of Christ were the victims of persecution; and internal; strife, Paul’s teachings brought them hope and peace. The believers were encouraged to “help each other to do what is right, and build [others] up.” The Holy Spirit, working through us, can build up what others try to tear down. Eleven of the people named in the letter who brought hope and peace were women. Their numbers were likely greater; for Paul mentioned “many others who helped us.” Paul encourages saints to become “strong in the faith,” so we can help others for the sake of Christ. Jarena Lee became among the first credentialed African American female preachers in 1819. She was first denied; but after preaching on a Sunday morning in Philadelphia, she was affirmed. Reverend Lee brought hope and peace to many. Travelling on foot over 3,300 miles in one year; she preached some 178 sermons.