Running the Race – #23
Philippians 2:25-30 – But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 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.
Philippians 2:25-30 NASB
Paul finishes out this chapter by sharing a story. He’s been talking about sending Timothy to these people so they would be encouraged, but now he speaks about a person that the church at Philippi had sent to Paul. Epaphroditus. They had sent him to Paul to bring a gift and to help serve and minister to Paul. However, Paul is sending him back to them now and he shares why. While Epaphroditus was with Paul, he got very sick. He was so sick that many thought he would die. Paul knew that the people of Philippi had heard about this and so he sends him back so they can see that he has recovered and is doing much better and they can be encouraged by this.
In this day and time when COVID-19 is the most talked about and thought about issue that our world is dealing with, we have to look at this as an amazing example and focus on what is truly important. This man, Epaphroditus, didn’t stop following God even when there was concern about his physical wellbeing. He knew that other’s eternal well-being is more important than his own physical well-being.
In today’s day and time when we are being told to focus on distancing ourselves from others, remember, Christ came to us to search us out and to find us and save us from our sin, even when we were in the midst of distress. He knew that the most important part of our well-being, was the spiritual salvation we need. This is much more crucial than our physical well-being.
Are we so focused on our own personal physical well-being that we have lost sight of the spiritual well-being of the people around us? Be safe, be smart, follow good practices, but don’t lose sight of the importance of reaching people with the message of Jesus Christ, even during this time when so many are scared for their physical well-being.