Speaking about Epaphroditus, the Pastor of the Church at Philippi, Paul says:
Welcome him in the Lord with great joy and honor men like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me. ~ Philippians 2:29-30
The motto of the USS Dallas nuclear-powered attack submarine of the United States Navy is “First in Harm’s Way.” That’s the type of risk spoken of here. Epaphroditus risked his life, put himself in harm’s way, and almost died for the work of Christ to make up for the help the Philippians could not give to Paul.
When he says “honor men like him”, it is a call for godly leadership. A call for men of courage that put service before security.
Why are there so many bored and unfulfilled men that have lost the spirit of adventure they had as young men?
Why aren’t they risking anything anymore? Is it because they don’t have anything to live for, any challenge, any goals bigger than themselves?
Only those who give away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live. ~ Mark 8:35
If you want to live… go for broke for Jesus Christ! Give up your life. Give up your reputation!
It is sad when a man, rather than being the spiritual leader of his home, is a detriment. He resents his wife’s growth. He’s afraid of it and limits it. One of the greatest challenges you will ever face in your life is to live for Jesus Christ in front of your wife and your family, friends, work associates. Are you man enough to do it?
Why is it, that evangelical Churches (in Australia) are full of girls and women who want to know and serve Jesus Christ and not men? Al Stewart says, “It’s because that’s who we cater to.” We sing soft songs that would sound better in a karaoke bar being sung by a teenage girl to her boyfriend. We hold “morning tea” for the ladies to have a bickie and chat. We have girl’s night’s out. We have women’s conferences, women’s Bible Study Fellowships.
We have failed, because we don’t honour men like Epaphroditus. We mark him as a trouble maker. He’s unstable. We don’t like him. He might do something without asking permission – we better shut him down.
Epaphroditus was just an ordinary guy, not a super star, but 2000 years later we’re still talking about him. When I look at my life and work, as a man, how much is it going to count 50 years from now? Or 100 or 1000? Will it make any difference? Will yours?