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I want to be seen by God as Apelles was seen by the Apostle Paul — as one whose fidelity to Christ has stood the test.

And I want to seen by God as the godly women Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis were seen by Paul — as one who works very hard for the Lord.

Apelles, Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis were mentioned in my One-Year Bible reading for today from Romans 16. Paul is ending his epic letter to the Christians at Rome and chooses to affirm a number of people who had endeared themselves to his heart because of the faithful love and service to God’s Kingdom.

It’s an uncluttered passage that promotes the idea of unity, volunteerism and the fact that God values the ministry efforts of women as much as He values the ministry efforts of men.

It is refreshing to read Paul’s words. It is also instructive for those of us who are struggling now with the vitality of our faith.

God sees what we do for His sake.

Faithful Christians are to observe others’ Kingdom efforts, too, offering words of encouragement and appreciation just as Paul did.

Can you imagine how encouraged Apelles, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Pesis and the other named believers were when Paul’s letter was read to the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Christians in Rome?

They didn’t serve in order to get on Paul’s “Attaboy!” list, of course. Yet their loyalty to God and gratefulness for His blessings surely were boosted as they heard their names and received the handshakes and hugs from fellow believers.

I want to encourage you to affirm the ministry efforts of others in your congregation or some other Christian setting. Tell them verbally or in writing of how you appreciate their efforts.

And then look for others in your circle of influence to whom you can provide the blessing of affirmation.

It’s the right thing to do.

As always, I love you

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