As we conclude our study of Phoebe this week, let's look at some practical applications for our own lives. Some of us are married; some are single, like Phoebe. All of us can use our special talents and the love that Christ puts in our hearts to help others.
First, we should ask ourselves if we can assist new believers. Phoebe seems to have "mothered" new converts, the "babes" in Christ. Think about what new believers would have been "up against" in their world . . . temples on every corner to this and that idol, temple prostitutes and orgies, superstition, the occult, family that doesn't understand or reviles the new convert. Kinda sounds like today, doesn't it? A new believer needs nurturing, and needs to be grounded in the Word; a Christian who can come alongside and foster that person is vitally important. Show them by word and by example how to pray and how to live . . .
We can also comfort the sorrowing. We don't know if Phoebe was a widow, or if she'd never been married, but she was uniquely qualified to help and encourage others. There are many in our circle of friends and in our churches, who carry heavy burdens and are sorrowful.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:2,10)We can help the aged and the infirm. What wisdom our elderly friends can provide us! But many of them are over-looked and neglected, and some need financial assistance. Some are lonely and need assistance with daily tasks. Others just need to know that someone loves them.
Single or married, we can also have a ministry of prayer. Do we keep a prayer list handy? Do we use it in our prayer and study times?
Those who are on the field of combat, so to speak, the missionaries and the pastors, need our prayers. Just as Paul asked for the prayers of the believers, so the modern-day workers need our prayers, as well. And we must not forget to pray for those that we know are not yet saved, or need to come back to a close relationship with our Lord.
Another way that we can "be a Phoebe" in this world, is to open our home to other believers. Our place may be tiny, or it may be large, but it may seem like heaven to someone who is a new believer. They may be lonely, or even rejected by their family because of their new faith. We can be a comfort to them.
I don't know about you, but I sure hope that I can be like Phoebe. Her name and her life reflected the grace and glory of our Lord!