We had lunch with Pastor Thom, his wife as well as Fred and Pat. Then in the evening we drove to Accident and had dinner with Susan and her family. We have eaten only about 80% more than we have wanted to but it sure is good.
Our week is almost at and end with Sunday morning at God’s Ark of Safety at 10am in Frostburg, Md and the evening service at Tristate Ministries in Hyndman, Pa at 7pm. Dottie and I will leave from there and begin south towards Louisiana believing that the Lord will get us through the bad weather before it becomes impassable. The weather has gone from 14 degrees yesterday to 65 degrees today but ugly weather is a-coming.
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”
When I read the short verse of the men we have studied, Epaphroditus, Jonow Epaphras with hn Mark, Tychicus, Onesimus, Oneiphorus and Epaphras with more to come I learn about myself.
I do not have to do everything. Paul did not plant the church in Colosse and neither did he teach the people there. I also know that the work is never done. Paul would die and the church would continue. Of the thousands of church leaders throughout the ages all of them passed away. Yet the work continues to this day. I am not indispensable.
God never intended for me to walk alone. I do not want to walk alone. There are difficulties in our lives but we do not need to face them alone. God designed the body to care for one another. I need prayer! My children need prayer! My staff needs prayer! With an Epaphras or 1000 Epaphrases I am never alone.
Epaphras is seen as a hard worker. Paul is vouching for Epaphras in Colossians 4:12. He sees the diligence in his life as well as his strength of prayer. Paul never would tolerate a LAZY Christian. Epaphras worked hard in Colosse but he went beyond those walls ito neighboring Laodicea and Hierapolis with each of them being a 5 to 6 hour walk from Colosse. He was diligent and he certainly was not lazy. It is from Epaphras that these people learned the Gospel
In the scriptures above we see that Epaphras was a faithful minister, fellow servant, one of you, fellow prisoner and a prayer warrior. First look at faithful minister which is mentioned first by Paul. Let me assure you many ministers are not faithful to Christ. They are faithful to their denomination or to their church or to a doctrine or whatever!
A faithful minister of Jesus is approachable. He has time for the flock. I always believed that any church I pastored needed to stay small enough for me to know each member by name. I always wanted my congregation to feel that I saw each of them as important. Too often pastors surround themselves with the most influential members and ignore those who are perhaps not as wealthy or educated. A pastor needs to always be available.
Epaphras was filled with service and self-sacrifice.