GIVING HONOR

Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:25-30

“So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men.” (Philippians 2:29)

Epaphroditus was a leader in the church at Philippi. He was commissioned by the church to be Paul’s attendant while he was in prison. During the time he was engaged in service, he became ill and almost died. God delivered him from the illness. Epaphroditus was concerned about the people in his church at Philippi. Paul wrote about his concern — “for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard he was ill” (v. 26).

Paul had a deep appreciation for Epaphroditus. He called him “my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need” (v. 25). Epaphroditus loved the Lord greatly — “(he) nearly died for the work of Christ” (v. 30). He served the Apostle Paul well. He was a gifted and dedicated leader.

It was now Paul’s desire to send Epaphroditus back to Philippi — “I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious” (v. 28).

In most of Paul’s epistles, he sought to honor those who had served the cause of Christ well. Paul told the Philippians to receive Epaphroditus in the Lord with all joy, and “to honor such men” (v. 29). Epaphroditus served the Lord, the church at Philippi, and the Apostle Paul well. When he returned Paul wanted the Philippians to honor his faithful service.

Think of the people in your life who have served the Lord and who have served you. Give thanks for the leaders of your church who work diligently to minister to you and others. Be sure to take time to honor them and thank them.

Last Thursday one of the men who greatly impacted my life and who served the Lord faithfully went home to be with the Lord. Frank Finfrock and I developed a very special relationship almost 35 years ago. We both served on the Presbyterian Church in America’s Mission to the Word Committee and we also served together on the Board of Christ’s College in Taiwan. I greatly admired this man. He was an outstanding leader, a devoted follower of Christ and a spiritual father to me. Today I will officiate at his memorial service in Atlanta. Frank was a man who deserved to be honored for his service in God’s Kingdom. Please pray for his family and for those of us who have lost a dear friend, spiritual father, and fellow worker.

Dear Lord, thank You for those who serve Your church well. Thank You for the leaders of our churches who serve You and Your people faithfully. I thank You for such men as Frank Finfrock who greatly influenced my life and who served Your church well. Enable me to honor those who work diligently for the cause of the gospel.

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