Last night we were in heavy now driving back from Accident to Cumberland. Dottie was saying it was a blizzard. So now we know what a “Dottie” blizzard is which is certainly not a Yankee blizzard. However it did get down to 14 degrees last night.
Each report from Bubba indicates Anthony is ding well. Saturday he will have another bone marrow examination.
Tonight we were at Soul’s Harbor in Cumberland Sister Betty. We have been there before so it was nice to see her people.
Colossians 1:7 “As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 9 ¶ For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”
Colossians 4:12 “Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.”
Philemon 1:23 “There salute thee Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus”
Each of these men we have been studying excite me. They are walking in the shadow of Paul. So many giants of the faith cast long shadows. Can you imagine following Moses, David or Abraham. What about following Peter, James and John? All of these cast long shadows but the men I have been studying walked in Paul’s shadow but as I see it they would come to cast a shadow themselves.
Here is another of them and possibly the most powerful one we will study. Epaphras evidently was a great man of God who impressed Paul tremendously. He was from Colosse where he founded the church there which we know as the Colossian Church. Colosee was an Asian city that was on the main trade route from Sardis to Ephesus. When the Romans took control they rerouted the trade routes down to Laodicea and Hierapolis which the first becoming the economic center and the latter becoming the spiritual center of Asia.
Paul was in prison in Rome when Epaphras came to visit. The year was 60AD and that is significant because a great earthquake would hit and devastate Colosse, Laodicea and Hierapolis in 62AD. No one can be sure that Epaphras or any of the men we have been studying would have survived. Remember Philemon livedAs far as is known Paul had never visited Colosse.
The founding of the church and the responsibility of teaching and training and developing Christians fell upon Epaphras.is job ws extremely difficult because Colosse was a very religious city. There were temples to Zeus, Diana as well as Ceres and Cybele. It has been surmised that the name Epaphras indicates that he was Greek and was dedicated to Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love.
Nevertheless it is obvious from history that Epaphras was a tremendous influence for Jesus and that the Apostle Paul who did not tolerate half-heartedness thought very highly of him.