Epaphroditus was Christian missionary from Philippi. Some people celebrate a feast for him in March. He is the one believed to hand deliver the letter to the Philippians.
“Epi” – “devoted to” //// “Aphrodite” – Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure & procreation. Associated with planet Venus. ///// Name also means “fair” or “graceful,” “agreeable” or “handsome” / “charming”
He is only mentioned in today’s passage & in Philippians 4:18 (where Paul mentions that Epaphroditus was sent with the gift (the church relief monies collected) to give to Paul while Paul was imprisoned in Rome).
Paul sent Epaphroditus back to the Philippian church…
- 26 mentions Epaphroditus was longing to see the church of Philippi and he was distressed because he didn’t want them to worry about him being ill to the point of death.
- 28 mentions Paul being anxious to send Epaphroditus back because he knew the people would be glad to see him, and Paul would not be so worried for them.
When Paul sent him back, he told the people to receive Epaphroditus with joy and to honor him(2:29).
TRUE BROTHER– belong to the same family, the body of Christ – all brothers & sisters in Christ Jesus
- Ephesians 2:19-22 – So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.
- Romans 12:5– in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.
- Galatians 6:10 – So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especiallyto those who are of the household of faith.
- 1 Corinthians 12:26 – If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
FELLOW WORKER– companion for work/labor – working for the same common goal to glorify God
- 1 Corinthians 3:7-11– So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wagesaccording to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
FELLOW SOLDIER– battling the same situations and trials while in the Christian faith
- 2 Timothy 2:3-4– Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier. NO MAN LEFT BEHIND…. Are you living the 4 E’s on battlefield?
MESSENGER– translated as Apostolos – an apostle, one commissioned to represent Jesus Christ and preach the Gospel, one senton a mission
- Matthew 5:14-15– You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Fatherwho is in heaven.
MINISTER– ministering to the needs, servant who belongs to the people (public servant) and works for the good of the community.
- Hebrews 13:16 – Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
- 1 Peter 4:10– God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
- Hebrews 6:10– For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
Week 5 – Empty Pockets
CARING FOR TREASURES
- Treasures in heaven can’t be destroyed
- Treasures in heaven can’t be stolen
- Treasures will point to your heart
- God is in control of time (Psalm 74:16-17)
- Make the best use of time (Ephesians 5:16)
- Teach us to number our days that we may gain heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)
- Each of us have been entrusted/given gifts/possessions dependent upon our ability (Matthew 25:14-30)
- Use your gifts to serve others & glorify God (1 Peter 4:10-11)
- Your soul is more important than the treasure of this world (Matthew 16:26)
- Your life does not consist of an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:13-21)
- Give and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38)
Read Matthew 25:14-30, The Parable of the Bags of Gold (The Parable of the Talents)
1) Why do the men each get different amounts of gold/talents? What does this mean for us?
2) When we look at this parable, what do we see that is required of us as stewards?
3) What is the immediate response of the three men when they received their talents from their Master? What does this mean?
4) Why is the third servant described as a “wicked, lazy servant”?
Handle with Care is a 6-week series focused on studying God’s Word and responding with care. The six weeks of messages may sound like instructions for laundry care — but you will soon find Handle with Care beckons you to examine within, to gauge how you truly love God and love others, and to grow inward and outward. Caring starts with the heart and pours out into the community.
- Week 1 – Stain Removal – Caring for God’s glory
- Week 2 – Do Not Bleach – Caring for Truth
- Week 3 – Add Fabric Softener – Caring like Barnabas
- Week 4 – Fasten the Zipper – Caring for Unity
- Week 5 – Empty Pockets – Caring for Treasures
- Week 6 – Iron Low Heat – Caring without Complacency
A fellow classmate brought up an interesting point today. He said that it was interesting that when John the Baptist was asked if he was Elijah, he denied it, but then Jesus said that John the Baptist was in fact Elijah. From this, he said that he felt that John the Baptist did not understand the “bigness” of his mission.
I thought about it for awhile and it got me to consider how we serve. We always seem to want to do big things for God. When we look for something to do with the church, we want to be the next Peter or Paul or John. We want to be Elijah or David. We don’t imagine a small role, because if we serve, we want to serve big.
The problem is that it is not our will and it is not about us at all. When we serve, we are serving God. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the matter. Did Peter or James know how big their roles would be for the early church? Did Paul realise that we would be studying His writings so many years to come? Were these men looking to be the biggest, or were they serving their awesome God? Were they filling the needs or were they trying to venture to be the most well known?
When we serve, we serve out of love– love for our Father. We don’t know how many it will touch and what the impact will be in the end. We simply serve. God will use those who let Him. Let yourself be used. See what He does. You may not know how far your service reaches, and maybe it will be something small– but no matter how big or small the role, you are serving a loving Father. That is what matters. Open your hands– let Him fill them.
“As each one has received a special gift, empty it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do it as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” – 1 Peter 4:10-11 [NASB]