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7 You so learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ in our stead and as our representative and [f]yours.
8 Also he has informed us of your love in the [Holy] Spirit.
12 Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you earnestly in his prayers, [pleading] that you may [as persons of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth], convinced and fully assured in [b]everything willed by God.
13 For I bear him testimony that he has labored hard in your behalf and for [the believers] in Laodicea and those in Hierapolis.
The Lord told me to share about this man during evening service at my home church, I was listening Pastor Mark.. honest!!!.
We are going to look at three aspects of His life:
WHO HE WAS
WHAT HE DID
WHY HE DID IT.
Let us look at the first of these.
Are you fascinated why in the New testament, the Apostle Paul tells us about some of his co-workers. I think that it is an indication of how valuable these people were to Him and his ministry, but most importantly to God.
So who was Epaphras
Well he was probably the founder of this church here at Colossae, but he was much more than that , as it says certain things about Him in the first Chapter of Colossians.
Who he was
He was beloved verse 7. Believer you are loved beyond measure, Not just by the Lord, if that isn't enough but by your fellow believers.
He was a servant verse 7 Jesus said that the greatest among you, must be your servant. Do you my dear brother in Christ, have a servant's heart and do you serve without question your fellow believers?
He was Faithful. Verse 7. Probably this man started out in quite a lowly position, but he was faithful in those little things. If you want to be trusted in the big things, you must be faithful in the little things. Such as, do you keep your word? Do you say you will be somewhere and then don't turn up?
He could be trusted Verse 7 Paul trusted this man completely and utterly. Tell me would your pastor, be able to trust you in a role like this?
He told the truth of the Gospel see Verse 6 This man taught the gospel as outlined in verse 6, he did not compromise it
He spoke of the Grace of God see Verse 6 It says that the gospel came to this church clearly and in truth. This man who founded the church, spoke the gospel in power and gave all the glory to the Lord.
What he did
I just love verse 8.
He gave Paul a good report on the believers in this place, he did not tell bad things to the apostle, he told of their love in the Spirit. I wonder if you had to say one thing about your church, what would it be? Would you give a good report?
In Philemon 23, it states that this man was a fellow prisoner of Paul in Rome and yet he was passionate about these churches. He was in real pain for these churches. It says that he wrestled in prayer for them.
I would think that he prayed Ephesians 3:14-21 over them and spent many many hours, even sleepless nights bringing them before the throne of grace. Wow what an example, this is true prayer my brothers, he went through real agony on their behalf, such passion and fervour. Colossians 4:12.
Praying for our brothers and sisters, does not mean you say a few words like Bless that church or that person.. We have to agonise in prayer.. we want to be like Jesus in prayer.. let me ask you do you sweat drops of blood or stay up all night like Jesus did?.. I know Epaphras did.
Paul is in admiration of Epaphras, what a testimonial Paul gives Him in verse 13. If someone was watching you every day, what would they say of you? Actually the report given by Epaphras in Verse 8 of Chapter 1, enabled Paul to pray like he did in verses 9-14.
Why he did it
So why did Epaphras do it? He was locked up and he could of forget them completely, after all they were not his responsibility any more.
Firstly it was driven by love, he was a man of love. He totally loved these believers, that my friend was his motivation, it drove everything he did.
Secondly, he wanted them to fully know Christ in every way. He wanted this church to understand the power of God in their lives. He wanted this church to have the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives. He wanted them to be totally and utterly set apart for God.
My brothers, Epaphras is a model for us today, a man of prayer, a man of passion and a man of love.
I hope you are blessed as you read what the Lord has laid on my heart
We certainly need more like this man in the church today.. amen?
Are you willing to be an Epaphras?
God bless you
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