Philippians 2:28 – 30 “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. Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.”
Epaphroditus was just a regular guy. Just like you and me. And if you will lean a little closer, I will tell you a secret. Did you know that your pastor is really just a regular guy, too? Did you know that the missionaries, around the world, are just regular people? They are average people with an extraordinary calling. Just like Epaphroditus.
There are certain people in this world who, because of their unique circumstances, are able to do what the rest of us cannot. And what makes these people extraordinary is not their special abilities, although many of them are gifted in certain areas. What makes them special is simply this: God has called them to do something special, and they have obeyed.
May I be honest with you? All too often, I have seen men and women in ministry treated with disdain. Instead of being treated with honor and respect, they are pushed around, bossed around . . . they are expected to live on a pittance, and they are expected to be ready at the drop of a hat to cater to whatever need may be present. And while most true ministers of the gospel are willing to be treated this way for the sake of the gospel, it doesn’t make it right.
When regular men and women accept the call of God on their lives, whether for a season or for a lifetime, we need to treat them with honor and respect. These people serve God in ways that the rest of us cannot, and so we need to support them, encourage them, love them, and esteem them. We need to bless these people in every way possible, for in so doing, we are showing honor not only to them, but to the One who called them.
Dear Father, Thank you for the people who have dedicated their lives to serving You. It is because of some of these people that I know You and serve You today. Please show me special ways to honor them today and every day.