In the sixteenth chapter of the book of Romans, Paul extends his greetings to a number of people. Some of the women who he extends his greetings to we have already covered, including: Phoebe, Mary of Rome, Julia, and Junia. Verse 15 in particular reads:
Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the Lord’s people who are with them.
Two women are referenced in the above verse, Julia (who we already covered) and Nereus’ sister. Nereus’ sister is included among a group of people who Paul calls “the Lord’s people.”
1. Nereus’ sister was a part of the Lord’s people. Nereus’ sister made the decision to believe in Jesus the Christ, follow Him, and serve Him with her life. Because of this decision, she was no longer her own person. She was a part of God’s people. Because she knew she belonged to God, she knew her worth in Him. Even though she may have been a seamstress, mother, wife, sister, etc., she knew that she was first and foremost a part of God’s people. We may belong to a family, a school, a sports team, or a church (all of which are good things to belong to), but we should remember that first and foremost, we belong to God. Who we are in Christ is far more important than anything else that we do or anything else that we become.
When we do something wrong, it is easy to begin to doubt if we still belong to God. But belonging to God is not something that we have to earn. We only have to trust in Christ, and we are immediately His. Just as nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39), nothing that we do can cause us to stop belonging to God. We must live our lives like God made us and like we are His (because we are). This means we must trust Him with every aspect of our lives. Rick Warren said, “You didn’t make yourself. God made you. He created you and designed you and you belong to him. God’s destiny for your life is better than any plan you’ll ever come up with. So if you’re going to trust somebody with your life, who better to trust than your Maker, the one who created you for a purpose?”
Once we make the all-important decision to give our hearts and our lives to Jesus the Christ, we are no longer our own, but God’s. Psalm 100:3 says, “Know that the Lord is God. It is He that made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.” It is an awesome feeling to know that we belong to the One who made us and loves us. We are not alone, struggling through life on our own. We have Someone who cares about us and is by our side for each step that we take. Me and God, you and God – we are family. We belong to Him and He belongs to us. We are His people and He is our God. We are His daughters and sons; and He is our good, good Father. We are His sheep and He is our shepherd.