Thursday, October 27, 2011
“And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow-labourers, whose names are written in the book of life” (Philippians 4:3 KJV).
During the early days of the Church the Body of Christ, there were many unnamed Christians who labored with the Apostle Paul in spreading the Gospel of Grace. Today’s Scripture references them.
Notice “thee” is the “true yoke-fellow,” an unidentified Christian whom Paul urged to “help those women who laboured with [Paul] in the gospel.” These female Christians are also unnamed. While other “fellow-labourers” are mentioned, they too are not named. Still, their names were written down somewhere else…. Romans chapter 16 lists over two-dozen names of Christians living in Rome. Some are unlisted, but their names are recorded elsewhere else….
We all have different roles within the local church (the church size is irrelevant, for a church can consist of two Christian friends or just one family). Some members are more noticeable than others, but they are all needed. Your role may seem “unimportant,” but it is significant. “Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary, and those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely [unattractive] parts have more abundant comeliness [beauty]” (1 Corinthians 12:22,23).
Also, your work may go unrecognized, but God notices it, and that is all that matters. The world will recognize us as Christians only to intimidate us, but we will never receive their praise for being Christians. Our names are ignored, and will never appear on secular, religious lists like “Most Generous Church Supporters” or “True People of God,” but we need not fret.
We are the (unnamed, unrecognized) saints in silence, doing the work of the ministry without fanfare from the world. Let us remember that we may be nobodies in this life, but, brethren, as members of the Body of Christ, we are listed in God’s Book—the Book of Life, the only list that counts for all eternity.