I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
More About Philippians 2:25-30
Written by Kayla Ferris (First 5 Ministries)
When my life starts to get hectic or stressful, I sometimes develop tunnel vision. It seems that all I can see are my own problems. The Apostle Paul was writing the letter to the Philippians while in prison. From what we gather by studying Paul, it appears he may have been awaiting his trial in Rome. A guilty verdict would mean death.
Yet it is interesting to note that in today’s passage, the moments that cause Paul sorrow or anxiety are not his own. In fact, throughout this entire letter, Paul does not once mention worry over his own situation. He certainly had not developed tunnel vision on his personal problems. Instead, his concern is for his friends. His focus was on their worries, their problems, their distress.
The next time I feel my problems closing in, I will know it’s time to step out of the tunnel. With eyes fixed on Jesus, I am better able to see the rest of the world around me. And as I hand my problems over to Jesus and step in to care about others, it becomes a whole lot easier to see the light.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the gift of friendship and thank You for the examples You have given me, not only in Paul and Epaphroditus, but in Your son, Jesus. Help me to give generously today, especially of myself, my time, my attention. Yet, help me also to receive graciously any help that comes my way, remembering to give thanks to both You and them. Make me a better friend to everyone around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Journal Prompt: Which area do you feel nudged to focus on today: to give generously or to receive graciously? What steps can you take in that area?