But Paul's nephew — his sister's son — heard of [the plan to kill Paul] and went to the fortress and told Paul. Paul called for one of the Roman officers and said, "Take this young man to the commander. He has something important to tell him."
— Acts 23:16-17 NLT
I never have known much about Paul's family other than he was not married (1 Corinthians 7:8). However, in this one short passage, Luke tells us Paul had a sister whose son helped save his life.
Over the centuries, many people have protected God's servants and passed on their faith to future generations, yet we don't know of them! As the Holy Spirit says about many in the Hebrews 11 faith hall of fame, "It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith..."* You may be one of these vital people and not realize your vital role as you faithfully fulfill it. Let's each commit to faithfully helping those who are in danger and supporting those who face grave difficulties because of their faith. Just as God used Paul's nephew to stifle Satan and the enemies of Paul so that he could preach in Rome and other places, we may never know the difference God has used us to make until we stand before Jesus!
Almighty God, use me to be an instrument of your strength as well as your peace. Use me to protect and support those near me who are vulnerable. Open my eyes to leaders who are in danger and need my support and prayers. Fill me, dear Spirit, with a holy boldness to communicate the grace of Jesus regardless of what people may think of me. Stir me to be an encourager as well as a sharer of the Good News. Please bless me with wisdom to know what is important to share with others and what is not. I ask all of this in Jesus' name and for the sake of the Good News. Amen.