His unconditional love
Because for the work of Christ he (Epaphroditus) came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me. Philippians 2:30
Prison, sickness, death . . . these are just a few of the perils that the Christians of Paul’s day faced. Of course, they were different times for sure. Living under a one world government, no modern inventions and all industry was based around necessity rather than comfort. It was a completely different world than what we live in today. Simple yet hard. Basic but complex. There were no rights or freedoms and everything the believers of that day did was out of a sense of ministry. They worked to fund the work of the LORD, to spread the message of the gospel. They opened their homes to minister the gospel and to rescue those without hope. Sure, they had celebrations and some enjoyment, but the life of the new testament believer was not lived for entertainment and pleasure but rather survival and preservation.
Paul talks about one of his fellow workers in today scripture . . . Epaphroditus. He was a messenger for Paul and ministered encouragement and whatever Paul needed at the time that the church was not able to supply to him. It was his purpose in life. He was on a mission. Even when he became very ill to the point of death, he longed to serve and to minister to the needs of the believers. Despite being very sick to the point of almost dying, all he could think about was getting back to his purpose in life. He wasn’t a great preacher or a wealthy business man, but he used the ability that he did have to serve. He was a faithful “brother” to Paul and to the church at Philippi.
What a contrast in today’s world. With all the modern inventions and the maintenance of keeping them updated, the church has become preoccupied with being comfortable and keeping up with the latest tv series. Using gifts and abilities to further careers and acquire more stuff to maintain. We have become completely distracted and the enemy of our souls knows exactly how to lure us further from the purpose we were created to fulfil. I know, I have been right there in the middle of this mind set. I didn’t even understand that God had put things in my heart for Kingdom progress. I thought I should just go through life and pay my bills and take care of my own stuff. Don’t bother anyone and no one will bother me. I didn’t know that the abilities I posessed to catch on quick and work hard at something were to be used for God, I thought that was just to get me through. Now I understand that my deepest desire is to help others know the God of all heaven and earth. The God of the universe and all creation wants all people to know that He loves them and that He made a way to be with them for all eternity. I am here to share the heart of God for people with all those He brings into my life. When I look deep inside my heart, that is the desire I see buried beneath all the fear, selfishness and distractions of the world. I want to help all people discover God’s unconditional love so they can experience it in their everyday life. Am I willing to go to the point of prison, sickness or even death? I don’t know, but I do know that I am on my way to finally understanding what my life is really all about. I endeavor to complete every direction God drops into my heart.
Today I want to encourage you to take one entire minute to examine your heart. Look beneath the surface and discover what the deepest desire in your heart is. Ask yourself how are you using your God-given talents and abilities to impact the kingdom of heaven. Start by taking time to grow your relationship with your heavenly Father. I’m not talking about going to church, though it is important. I’m talking about one on one time each day talking with and getting to know Him more. Getting new revelation of how much He loves you unconditionally and wants to lead you to that perfect path of liberty of fulfilling all that He has planned for you to accomplish. Lastly ask yourself have you discovered God’s unconditional love to the point that you experience it in your everyday life? Then and only then will you experience true contentment and satisfaction in this world.
Today’s scripture reading: Philippians 2:25-30