40 Days of study

A human being lives, but he is given life.

Philippians 2:25-30

Philippians 2:25-30

New King James Version (NKJV)

25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.


My Thoughts:

  1. Let’s start with (v. 25) we read “But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs”
    1. Epaphroditus seems to be unknown outside of Philippians. But it appears that the church sent him to take care of Paul during the time of his imprisonment,
    2. Just an interesting note about the name Epaphroditus, it is a common Greek and Latin name that means; Lovely, fascinating, charming from the name of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
  2. In (v. 27) we read “Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow”
    1. Times then were tough, if you got sick you did not just go to the doctor get a pill and start feeling better in a few days. Getting sick back then was very bad.
    2. When Paul talks of being spared sorrow upon sorrow, I think he is saying that if Epaphroditus had died, the man that had come to minister to him. Paul’s sorrow would have been unbearable.
  3. Let’s finish with (vv. 29, 30) “So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.”
    1.  Compare (Phil. 2-19; Rom. 16:2) Paul is telling the Philippians to look upon Epaphroditus as a gift from God.
    2. This statement “He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me” Paul knows that the Philippian church wanted to be there for him but was only able to send Epaphroditus. So he is not criticizing them, he is saying that he accepts the gift that Epaphroditus and the church had given him in his time of need.

Thought of the Day

“When you do little things for others, you do big things for Jesus.”

My parents amaze me. They showed me what true love meant about 4 years ago. My parents love to be on the go, even if is just going to watch pee wee football. But my grandmother became ill and over time she started to need more and more help and they began helping to care for her.

During the next few years, my mother and father often fed her, dressed her, and helped her do anything she couldn’t do for herself. And this became harder and harder every day, imagine a mother and daughter literally changing roles? I truly learned what it meant to be a humble servant from watching them.

Even though they were had to stay at home and take care of her, they never thought of giving up, even when you could see that it was taking a toll on their health as well. They continued until the fall of 2010, when my grandmother past away and our family said goodbye to her for the last time.

My parents remind me of Epaphroditus, who sacrificially cared for Paul’s needs (Philippians 2:25-30). What examples of caring, love, and compassion! Not all of us, of course, could set aside our lives to give as they did. But their sacrifice can teach us all about the value of servanthood. I can only hope to be like them.

True greatness does not come to those

Who strive for worldly fame;

It lies instead with those who choose

To serve in Jesus’ name. —D. De Haan


Personal Reflection and Discussion

  1. What do think Paul meant in (v. 25) when he said “my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier”?
  2. What can we learn for these 6 verses?
  3. What other things do you see in the text?

Prayer Activities

  1. Call your Partner and discuss this devotional.
  2. Continue to have a prayer list and continue to praying for them.
  3. Pray with them and ask for the following;
    1. For God to help us find caring people in our lives, such as the ones Paul had.
    2. For God to strengthen our love for others.
    3. For the individuals on your pray list.
  4. Let’s use (1 Peter 5:7) for today’s prayer verse.

About bobh6

I am Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Texas Panhandle

9 comments on “Philippians 2:25-30

  1. Amalia Mullen
    August 31, 2011

    Paul seemed hesitant to send Epaphd (short) back. I sense he really was a great help and comfort to Paul, but it may be Paul comforted himself with thoughts of being able to visit them all real soon himself. We see here how even one person’s encouragement and support not only could be so appricated. but neccessary to the futherence of the work of the Lord. ` Just one or two people could make such a difference.

    I wonder what was meant by, “He risked his life to make up for the help you youself could not give”? I wish I knew all the hows and whys of this story. Epaphd character must of been very sincere, compassionate, and yet zealous. He recognized what was lacking and filled in the gap with himself, not holding back for his own interests or even health. I think only in compassion to Epaphd, Paul sends him back home, really wishing to have continue use of such determination and strength of character.

    I’m supposing even in our time the ministry and ministers (those working for the furtherence of the Lord’s work) still need people like Epaphd. The work is plentious, but the workers few…let alone the support. Bob, you’re like Paul in that sense and we as the church, you once ministered to, want to reach out and support and encourage you. Yes, we even long to see you again, but in the mean time we keep informed through FB and phone…atleast they don’t get sick to the point of death…oh i guess the computer can. We’ll pray they don’t. 🙂

    • bobh6
      August 31, 2011

      I think that Epaphroditus may have known that he could have gotten sick form Paul and still choose to stay. I still think of all of you as well and I continue to pray for you that everyone is good health, being part of your church gave me great joy and like Paul I know that I will see all of you again.

  2. Rosi
    August 31, 2011

    Paul stated the Epaph (borrowing from Amalia) was his brother, a fellow worker, a fellow soldier and a messenger. By saying his brother, Paul was stating that he (paul) loved Epaph as if he were his brother. We always say we love so and so as a friend or as a family member. This, of course is not the same as the love shared between a couple. 🙂 Sa a fellow worker, Paul considered Epaph to be an equal in the work of the gospel. This says a lot for Epaph. Thr title of fellow soldier was given only to those who had fought honorably alongside another.This is high praise from Paul. Epaph was a messenger just as Paul was. The onle difference being that Paul was commissioned from Jesus while Epaph was sent by the Phillipians. Paul is telling the Phillipians what a great comfort and help Epaph has been and how much he will be missed. I am so glad Amalia is better with words than I becaise what she said at the last of her commnet is so true and she said it so well.:)

    • bobh6
      August 31, 2011

      I thought your post was very good and I agree with you. Just remember, it is not the number of words but the quality of the words.

    • Amalia Mullen
      August 31, 2011

      Thanks Rosi, you know I only try; It’s to easy for my thoughts and words to get all jumbled up. You know we have to try and take care of Pastor Bob as God leads; but Bob could help by opening up to us when he needs, even if it’s just praying for him. And Rosi you have been such an encouragment by writing with me on these blogs.

      • bobh6
        September 2, 2011

        God has been very good to me, both before I got to Alaska and after, He has given me all the things I need. But most of all He has blessed me with friends like You, Rosie and Joseph and my new friends here in Alaska. So what do I need? Nothing, I am a rich man. My prayers are not filled with request for earthly things, but the hope that each of you will continue to prosper in all that you do. So your prayers are always welcome and I hope you all know that you are always in my prayers.

  3. Victoria
    August 31, 2011

    I love vs. 27, where Paul says that he is spared the sorrow he would feel were he to lose Epaphroditus. What a merciful God! This actually brought tears to my eyes. It makes me wonder how God works in others’ lives to spare us from sorrow, and vice versa. One day (in heaven) I would love to talk to Him about these connections with each other that we don’t even know about, yet our lives are greatly enriched by them.

    • Amalia Mullen
      September 1, 2011

      I totally agree. I often wonder to what extent God has worked the “little things” like encourament and fellowship to our development at present time, let alone to our full walk in the Lord.

    • bobh6
      September 2, 2011

      It is so hard for us to understand why things happen but I am so happy that God puts people in our path to help and guide us.

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2011 by in Baptism, Philippians and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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