'Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ.' Rom 16:8
I read these words recently and was struck by the beauty of them: 'tested and approved.'
These words were spoken by Paul, the greatest apostle; the one who had known shipwreck, famine, cold, persecution and numerous other difficulties. He was looking at this younger disciple with approval, as one who had suffered trials, been found faithful and was ready for God.
If these words were spoken about one of us we would consider it a great honour. In fact, it's what we hope our Lord thinks about us. We've passed through the fire of affliction and been strengthened; like a polished arrow ready to be used.
We read on in the chapter:
'Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.' V12
Another commendation! Persis, not only a dear friend but one who has worked VERY hard. Paul is thinking of this one with great affection and admiration; appreciative of all she has done over the years.
Have you ever wondered what would be said of Christians today?
Greet W, one who has worked hard in the church for many years; or X who has doubted for many years and who has never fulfilled their call; or Y who is up and down in their consistency to God; or Z who is filled with bitterness over the difficulties that they have in their life. The list could be endless!
Life is no different today from what is was these many years ago. We face the same trials and tribulations as Appelles. There is as much hard work needing done in the church today as there was when Persis was around. We face the same inner battles that these people faced.
Have a reality check and think what Paul would say about you. I hope it would be a worthy comment. Ask God to reveal to you what He would say about you and your level of commitment to Him and to His church. Be honest! Listen to what He says to you and then set yourself, no matter how much you have failed or achieved, to do even better for Him.
In the Gospels we read:
'And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.' Matthew 20:3
Don't be an idle soul. Do whatever you can for Him whether it be practical or spiritual.
Our Lord spoke these words:
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
That's us friend! Brother or sister in Christ today - we are called to be labourers. Therefore, set yourself the task of doing whatever God requires of you. When the difficulties come remember we are allowed to be tested that we might be approved for His mighty and glorious work.