“We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love which you have for all the saints; because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel which has come to you, just as in all the world also it is constantly bearing fruit and increasing, even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and understood the grace of God in truth; just as you learned it from Epaphras, our beloved fellow bond-servant, who is a faithful servant of Christ on our behalf, and he also informed us of your love in the Spirit” (Colossians 1:3-8).
Yesterday we wrote about a little-known, but absolutely crucial position on a football team known as the “long snapper”; the player who snaps the ball for punts and field goals. This player is rarely mentioned but his position is important. Just as every position on a football team is important, so it is in the Body of Christ.
This week let us consider a little referenced man in the Colossian church named Epaphras. Today’s portion of Scripture is a bit longer than usual but we want you to have some of the background as Epaphras is introduced. He is mentioned twice in this book (also in 4:12) where Paul writes “who is one of you”.
Colossae was a city in modern day Turkey (known as Asia Minor in Biblical geography). It can be located here on a Google map and is one of the churches that Paul wrote to in his prison epistles.
In today’s text we can learn at least four points about Epaphras:
1) “Just as you learned it from Epaphras” Paul acknowledges Epaphras’ role in the formative teaching to the Colossian church. He was the one who taught them the Gospel and foundations of their faith.
- We all have people like Epaphras in our own lives. We’re especially blessed if we have parents who raised us in a Christ-filled home. Most all our readers will likely identify believers who were like Epaphras such as a faithful pastor, Sunday School teacher, youth leader, a fellow worker who shared his faith with us, etc.
- We should all in some way be like an Epaphras in teaching others about the Gospel and ways of the Lord.
Tomorrow we will examine an interesting characteristic of Epaphras found in the second reference to him in this letter.Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, just as Paul is giving thanks to You for the Colossian believers regarding their faithful walk with Jesus and their love for all Your people, we give thanks for our brothers and sisters in our local congregation, our community and throughout the world. We give thanks to You for the gospel that is bearing fruit in their lives and growing throughout the whole world. How good it is to know that there will always be a remnant who do not bow to Baal, but remain faithful, fruitful, and fervent in their walk with You. May I always be counted among them. Amen.
Brooksyne took a walk with our neighbor, Jane, yesterday and passed this creative loghouse mailbox. Perhaps it was a handmade Christmas present since it wasn’t there when they walked on Kelly Avenue in the fall. They could even use the silo for a weekday newspaper drop, although most newspaper deliveries are thrown from a moving vehicle.
“Unimaginable: What Our World Would Be Like Without Christianity!” Free Webinar on February 5 (today) at 12:00 noon.
In this age when you and I can be attacked for our beliefs, it’s important that you know how believers like you have created a more peaceful, loving and just world – and the important role you have today in promoting Jesus’ world-changing teachings.
Join Jeremiah Johnston and Warren Cole Smith for a free Colson Center webinar designed to equip and encourage believers to share how Jesus’ teachings continue to be the most powerful force for good today.