No one can dispute that the apostle Paul played a foundational role in the establishment of the early church. We generally think of him as the man who took the gospel to the ends of the civilized world of that era. But Paul never worked alone. Throughout the book of Acts and the Epistles, we catch glimpses of people who partnered with Paul in ministry.
In today’s reading, we meet a small missionary team—including Luke, the author of Acts—who accompanied Paul as he journeyed through Macedonia. Although we know little or nothing about most of them, each played an important part in the formation of the church. From God’s perspective, there are no insignificant people or ministries in the church of Jesus Christ.
In 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, Paul likens the church to a body, whose health depends on the proper functioning of all its various parts. The Holy Spirit gives each believer a special ability for service within the church. Although people like Paul, who have a more visible role, may seem more necessary, in reality every believer is essential. Behind-the-scenes services rendered by less visible people are never forgotten by the Lord.
To God, the issue is not who sees our service or knows what we’ve done; He’s interested in our obedience, attitude, and motive for serving Him. He doesn’t want us wallowing in self-pity or low self-esteem because our work isn’t noticed or appreciated. Instead, we should aspire to glorify the Lord and be faithful in whatever we do, knowing that He promises to reward our service and will not overlook our obedience.