DEVOTION – DAY 99
Romans 16:21-24 “Serving God”
Romans 16:21-24 “Timothy, my fellow co-worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my fellow Jews. I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord. Gaius whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.”
The book of Romans was a letter that Paul sent to the Christian church in Rome. Bible scholars believe that Paul wrote it around AD57 in the city of Corinth in Greece. The above verses were part of the closing verses of the letter and named fellow Christians who were with Paul at the time the letter was written. We can learn a number of things from these verses.
- The letter was dictated to an educated slave. His name was Tertius who acted as Paul’s secretary while he was in Corinth. Tertius had a brother who was also an educated slave called Quartus, meaning he was the fourth child in his family.
- Paul had his fellow co-worker, Timothy with him. Timothy had been working alongside Paul in starting some of the churches and Paul regarded Timothy almost as his son. That is why in some other of Paul’s letters, he mentioned highly of Timothy.
- Gaius was Paul’s gracious host in Corinth offering Paul and Timothy the use of his house. He would have opened his house to the church’s use in Corinth. From him, we learn about the importance of using the gift of hospitality to bless the church.
- Jason was likely the same Jason of Thessalonica mentioned in Acts 17:5-9 who was probably Paul’s host, in Thessalonica. Sosipater was probably the same Sopater mentioned in Acts 20:4 who was from Berea who accompanied Paul on part of his mission trip through Macedonia.
- Erastus was Corinth’s director of public works. This means that the church had high ranking government officials and slaves like Tertius and Quartus and there were no barriers between them in serving the church. In the same way, there should be no barriers in our churches today and people from all walks of life are welcome and have a role to participate in building up the church. Like all these names listed, everyone is to use their gifts given by God to build the church.
- All of them are focused on working alongside each other to fulfill God’s purposes. They were determined to serve until God calls them home to with Him. Today, some Christians think they will serve but only for a time. Notice that in the Bible, no retirement age was ever mentioned. Some Christians only volunteer their services when they are free, or when they can manage it. Again, that was not the attitude of the people mentioned here in Romans. Let us serve like them with a sacrificial attitude for we are serving the Lord.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and choosing us to be your children. Help us to willingly serve you, using all our gifts to build your church and for your glory. In the blessed name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
- What are some reasons that you have for not wanting to serve or to postpone serving?
- What attitude should you have about serving the Lord and building His church after you have read this devotion?
- Why do you think God wants you to serve Him and His church? Discuss.
- What can you learn from Paul and his co-workers example about serving the Lord?