Several have thought seriously over these past two weeks, questioning the eternal value of the tasks and goals before them.
I am overjoyed by the number of women who have decided to”re-focus” their lives, simply by choosing to:
…..seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…
Many of us have decided to respond by saying,
Yes, Lord, use me.
You may be thinking,
How can God use me?
I’m just an ordinary woman…. who does ordinary things.
What can I possibly offer the Lord to Advance His Kingdom?
I feel like I am unuseable.
Take Heart, Ladies!! God can and will use His obedient daughters.
Today, I would like to look at just one of the ordinary women of the Bible.
She performed her task to God’s Glory, and because of her obedience, we are still being BLESSED today.
This ordinary woman is….Phoebe
She can be found in…
I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.
When Paul refers to Phoebe as our sister, this means she is our sister in the Lord, not his biological sister.
Phoebe is a servant of the church at Cenchrea. The word servant means diakonas. A deacon was a person who orginally ran errands.
Phoebe was a deaconess in the church. She would care for the poor and collect money to distribute it to those in need.
A deaon/deaconess is a servant’s role, a non-leadership role.
We can see the difference between an elder and a deacon/deaconess in:
1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:
Qualifications can be found in 1 Timothy and Titus…these verses only list men, but there were deaconesses in the first century church, Phoebe is obviously one of them.
Phoebe probably was a fairly wealthy woman, a business woman, maybe a widow. She had the funds to travel to Rome, as well as help people in the church. As God blessed her and her business, she inturn blessed others.
Receive Her: Paul made a request of the Romans for Phoebe…first he commends her. The Roman church did not know Phoebe, but they knew Paul. He basically said to receive her into the church and welcome her in a way befitting the saints.
Give her any help:Paul knew that Phoebe was heading to Rome for business, and he simply asked that the church assist her in any way possible. Phoebe, being a business woman, was very unique at this time. Because of the influence brought to Rome by the Classical Greek Empire, women were categorized with Barbarians and slaves (according to Plato’s book The Republic). Though the Roman World viewed women this way, Paul entrusted Phoebe with his most precious letter to the saints in Rome.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
She has been a great help:
The word help or succorer(KJV) means: someone who gives help in times of need or distress or difficulty
Paul acknowledges Phoebe’s ministry to the early church as well as her ministering to him personally.
I want to encourage you…the same God who assigned Phoebe her many duties also lives in us; He works in us to accomplish the tasks we are called to do each day.
- a woman of God; a saint
- a sister in the Lord
- a deaconess at Cenchrea
- a succorer, helper
- a business woman in the Roman Empire
- entrusted by Paul
- a ordinary woman… who accomplished much through the power of God
Phoebe simply did what Paul asked of her. Because of Phoebe’s obedience we have the book of Romans today.
What are the tasks our Lord has assigned to you?
How will the church and your kingdom be blessed because of God working through you?
How will the future generations be effected by your obedience or disobedience today?
Take some time and go before Him in prayer…..
consider the duties that lie before you.
His friend, Joan
Footnotes: Back to the Bible- Phoebe