A Hometown Hero Honored
Verses 29-30 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.
We talked yesterday about Paul’s dear son in the faith, Timothy and today we find Paul talking about someone who was not only dear to Paul but was a hometown hero of sorts.
It is doubtful that any of us know someone from our neighborhood named, Epaphroditus, but this name would have meant something to the believers in Philippi. This man may have grown up among them and maybe even been important to the start of the first church there. If this letter was read in a church meeting you would have been able to hear the excitement at the mention of his name. To know that he missed them as much as they missed him would have been encouraging to them.
We don’t know much about this man but we know that he was special to Paul and special to the Church in Philippi, but more importantly he was special to the work of the Kingdom of God. He was sent to minister to Paul and had become very ill, so ill that he almost died. We know the people of Philippi cared for this man because they were distressed to hear of his illness.
Paul could have selfishly kept Epaphroditus with him and continued to be encouraged and served by him but Paul loved these people in Philippi and knew they would benefit greatly by having their friend home with them. Epaphroditus had delivered the aid to Paul that the Church had sent, he encouraged Paul through his presence and it had almost cost him his life.
Epaphroditus didn’t show concern for himself, he was focused on serving God. He took his mission of mercy seriously and took great responsibility in carrying out what his friends had sent him to do. Paul tells his friends to welcome their mutual friend with great joy and to honor not just him but others like him. This is something that we should also adhere to in our lives. God gives all of us things to do in the service of His kingdom. We should be encouraging and giving honor where it is due. And we should willingly serve the Kingdom anywhere and any way He calls us.
Making It Personal
Who do you know that serves the Kingdom of God well? Has their service inspired you to serve? How can you serve God better?
Making It Personal Kids
What are ways that Jesus wants you to serve Him? Have you served Him before? How are you going to serve Him today?
Father, thank You for giving us work to do in Your Kingdom. Help us know how and where You want us to serve You so that we can willingly and faithfully serve. In Jesus’ name, amen.