Today’s Scripture: Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. Philippians 2:25-26
At the end of Philippians chapter 2, we’re introduced to a courier charged with relaying messages and gifts between the church of Philippi and the Apostle Paul. Not much is known about this man except for his faithfulness, good reputation and his name. Yet, his name is all we need to see a marvelous picture of what God’s grace can do in the life of the believer.
The name ‘Epaphroditus’ means ‘devoted to Aphrodite/Venus’. From this we learn that the parents of Epaphroditus were dedicated to a false god and expected their child to follow in their footsteps. They anticipated that Epaphroditus would be a devoted follower of their heathenism.
Yet, at some point in his life, Epaphroditus accepted the gospel and by the grace of God became a godly man – a servant of Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul called him a spiritual brother and a fellow soldier. Because of his godly character, the entire Philippian church mourned for him when he nearly died and was anxious for his recovery. He was a beloved member of the church.
The same God of grace Who brought Epaphroditus out of a wicked upbringing and into such righteous standing is the same God of grace Who operates in this day and age. God is not limited by your past, origin, family or previous actions. God can raise you above your circumstances and bring you to higher ground if you will trust and obey Him.
Don’t be hindered by your past or bound by your shortcomings. No matter how bad they are, God is still far greater. Forget those things which are behind and strive toward the mark God has placed before you. Spend time in His Word and in prayer; allow God to lead you. God can bring you into good success just as God did Epaphroditus.
Devotional by Pastor C.J. Armstrong