It is evident in Paul’s letters that he was a relationally connected person. His list of greetings in this passage help us see that the longer we are Christians, the more God will forge deep friendships. These friendships will represent a diversity of believers as we labor together for the Lord. This is both reassuring to us and motivating for us. We find reassurance that we will not be alone in ministry, but that the Lord is all about increasing fellowship. And we find motivation to cultivate deep and growing friendships as we continue to pursue ministry and mission together.

I heard a retired pastor speak recently on the topic of friendship. He talked about all the relationships he had over the years. He also described one of his very best friends, whom he had not met until later in his life. This pastor was so thankful for this friendship as a gift from God. He was effusive in his description of what this particular friend and his friendship had meant to him. It was clear there was a great affection between these two friends. This mirrors the affection we see in this passage of scripture.

Read Romans 16:1-16

What stood out to you from this passage?

Who is a friend that you would say is a gift from God?

How have you seen the Lord cultivate friendships in your life?

How do you show your affection and appreciation to your friends?

Pray for each other, to be strengthened in your friendships.