July 6/Romans 16

Verses 1-16 > Paul takes time out from his teaching to practice it by commending people by name who had helped him, encouraged him, worked with him in teaching and leading people to Jesus. He also commends them for being faithful to live for Jesus in spite of opposition and for opening their homes to help believers mature in their new found faith in Jesus Christ. They ministered the teachings of the Apostles to their own people. Some had even risked their lives for the gospel. They all had worked very hard to get out the good news of Jesus.

I like what Paul did here; he didn’t wait for people to die before he said how much he appreciated them. If you have ever been to a funeral at Hilltop you will notice that most of the time we have an open mic where people can come up and say what they appreciated about the deceased. A lot of people won’t come up because it is too intimidating for them to get up in front of people or they are so sad that they fear they might break down and cry.

Wouldn’t it be quite special to take time while people are alive and can hear and appreciate the good words we have for them? Perhaps this could happen at a birthday party or anniversary or just schedule an appreciation day. Maybe then people won’t be too intimidated or too sad to say something.

Or who is the person that has helped you in your Christian faith? Who was there with you through a tough time encouraging you with scripture and a hug? Who has been an example for you to follow in life? Who has always been there to pray with you and for you? Who is the one or ones that have influenced you for good? Maybe soon would be a good time to tell how much they mean to you. You could send a card or go out for lunch or write a letter like Paul just did. The Apostle Paul amidst all the trouble he went through took time to remember people. I believe this is a good example to follow. Will you follow it? Hilltop let’s not wait for the next funeral to really appreciate our loved ones. As followers of Jesus lets do it now!

Example: Years ago Cleo befriended a young lady here in Fergus Falls. The young lady is now married with children and the other day while driving downtown she apparently saw Cleo walking and honked her horn to acknowledge her. When she got home she wrote Cleo this note which I happened to see lying on the kitchen table.

“Hi Sweet Cleo, It was so fun seeing you for 5 seconds the other day. I for real love seeing you walking around town, because that means I get one more smile in my day. I just love you, your laugh, your tender heart and sweet spirit. Thanks for being you, Cleo. Here’s to many more happy thoughts as I see you around town this summer If you hear a honk just assume it’s me!!! Love you”

Wow! How thoughtful was that. I know that made Cleo’s day!

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) — 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Be an Inspiration Hilltop!


  1. Mark Gundersen says

    Along with the tributes was a word of warning to watch for wolves in sheep’s clothing. To test what people say to see if it matches with scripture or only tickles the ear. There are charities and ministries out there who claim prosperity for only a “small seed of faith”. Some are legitimate but others are only looking to fill their own wallet. As Paul says, use discernment and see if it matches scripture.

  2. Mary Anne Frank says

    When Mel and I were younger we were a part of an intentional Christian community. One of the things we learned and practiced was the blessing of honoring people. In our culture it is common to “roast ” people on special occasions. It is negative humor that is often hurtful or painful to the one being “roasted”. Everyone laughs but is it really funny? Paul honored those whom he had relationship with. We need to spend time doing the same instead of laughing at others’ expense. I’ll be writing a few notes this week.

    • Daniel Mueller says

      Those who hear from you will be blessed. You are a good honest caring compassionate truthful women. I am blessed to know you!