Scripture: Philippians 2:27-30
For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.
Insights: There was once a missionary speaking back in the states during his furlough and he said, “The problem in our churches is that we have too many spectators and not enough participants.” That statement could not have been said of Epaphroditus. He was not content simply to contribute to the offering taken up for Paul. He gave himself to help carry the offering to Paul. He risked his very life for the service of Christ Jesus. We have crime in today’s society, but in many ways the risk of ambush and robbery during ones travels were much greater in the first century. Epaphroditus was carrying a significant love offering with him on his treacherous journey to Rome. That money represented Paul’s furtherance of the gospel in many ways. Epaphroditus was willing to defend such a love offering. Notice also that Epaphroditus also got gravely sick in his ministering to Paul. It is highly probable that Epaphroditus got sick in the prison area in which Paul was being held. Whether it was in the prison compounds, a house arrest situation, or just in the public arena does not really matter. What is important is he got sick and almost died. He gave and he gave and he gave until he had worked himself into sickness, possibly through exhaustion. Beloved, we need to serve with total abandonment for God and the proclamation of the gospel. Serve Him well! Do not be a spectator, but rather be a participant like Epaphroditus.
- Does your personal safety and well-being come before your service to the Lord?
- If so, what is holding you back from being a fully committed follower of Christ Jesus?
Prayer: Father, forgive me when I put myself first and do not obey You. I pray my heart becomes more like Epaphroditus and I am willing to risk it all for You and Your glory. Amen.