"Receive him (Epaphroditus) then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me."
As the Olympics play out in Rio De Janiero there is a lot of talk about how these great athletes are heroes to kids. It's how all their hard work, dedication and focus got them to this pinnacle in their life. Now, I would think there are no men or women that God "Looks up to" But there may be some that God would want us to look up to, if not as heroes, then as great examples.
This is what Paul hints at when he writes to the Philippians about Epaphroditus. He gives them a background of who he is and what he has done for Paul. And he tells them how to receive them: "hold him in high regard". Followers of Jesus need to remember that our heroes look quite different than the ones the world would choose. God's heroes are identified by actions are identified by actions produced in faith, not by earthly accomplishments. Think about it: if we dedicated our spiritual life with the same intensity, dedication, and desperation as these Olympic athletes, where would you be?
Who are your heroes? Are they the physical, intellectual or spiritual type?
Would God want to designate you as an example for others to imitate?
Pastor Michael Garcia
Overseer and Pastor at First Assembly HOEN