23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers.
7 as you also learned from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf,
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.
There were men who travelled with Paul on his missionary journeys, some of whom we know very little about. Epaphras was one of those men and I would like to introduce you to him. It appears from Colossians 4:12 that Epaphras was from Colossi for Paul says that he was one of them. I find this interesting in that here is a man who was saved in and through a local church who then left his home and church to be a part of Paul’s mission’s team.
Travelling with Paul was no easy task. Much of their travels were on foot. We know that at times they slept outside and we know that they had a couple of shipwrecks. We know that Paul was beaten and imprisoned leaving his travelling companions to get him food and care until he would be released. When Paul was stoned at Lystra his travelling companions took his body and left town. Epaphras was one of these companions of Paul.
We don’t know anything about Epaphras’ talents but we do know that he was a man of great prayer. Paul tells the Colossians that Epaphras labored fervently in prayers for them. As a spiritually mature man, Epaphras prayed for his friend’s spiritual growth into the will of God more than for their physical well-being.
We also know that Epaphras was a faithful servant and minister of Jesus Christ. Having left his home he committed to the ministry of God with the Apostle Paul. Wherever God led Paul, Epaphras followed serving Paul and serving with Paul with love and zeal. Epaphras cared for people. As Paul ended his letter to Philemon, Epaphras asked Paul to greet Philemon for him.
So often in the Bible we learn about great heroes of the faith, great men and women that we have a hard time identifying with. Epaphras was not one of those people. In him I see a man much like any of you who grew up in a pagan world, heard the gospel and grew in his church. With a heart to serve his Savior, Epaphras volunteered to join up with Paul’s team and became a fellow-minister of the great Apostle.
What does God have for you?
Today is our son Steven’s birthday. Like Ben and Anna’s little girl, Steve came one month early and very healthy. What a joy to see a son grow up, give his heart to Christ and then to use his God-given talents in the Lord’s work. Happy Birthday, Son.
Please keep Caleb and Lindsey in your prayers as they are seeking the Lord’s direction for their lives. Different doors seem to be opening and closing leaving them in a place not quite sure where to go next. Pray for God’s clarity to be made known to them.
Thanks for your prayers yesterday.
I hope to see you tonight for prayer at church, Bible study, youth group and Kids4Truth. Let’s join together as children of God seeking Him.
Have a great day in the Lord,