Whom can you bless today?
In our busy lives, we are sometimes able to glean encouragement from something we read. An encouraging word can come from any source, such as this quote:
“Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Take time to care.”
We can look to the Bible as a life-changing source of encouragement and read about the multitude of examples that lie within – Epaphras, a friend of Paul, is an impressive one.
We all need friends and consider ourselves blessed to have them. The larger blessing though, should come from being a friend to others. Paul referred to Epaphras as a fellow servant, a faithful minister, and a fellow prisoner. Biblical scholars described Epaphras as a “giant in prayer.” What an accolade to be characterized as a giant in prayer. Epaphras was a colleague and good friend to Paul and worked with the church in Colossae. Paul wrote in Colossians 4:12 – “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.” Have you wrestled in prayer for a loved one recently?
Being someone that others can count on takes sacrifice. Putting other’s needs above your own is not an easy task. Jesus himself was the perfect example of sacrifice and love. John 15:12-13 describes love like this: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” There is no doubt that life is busy and full of challenges, but helping your friends through their journey is what we are called to do.
Do What is Needed
When Paul was imprisoned in Rome, Epaphras traveled to see him in person. Epaphras desired to be an encouragement to Paul during a difficult time, and share good news of the church in Colossae. Travel was not easy in biblical times – the trip from Colossae to Rome could have taken as many as 15-20 days. It took commitment, sacrifice, and love for Epaphras to make the journey. He could have easily sent a letter, but knew that his presence would be meaningful to Paul.
Be present and accessible in the lives of those you love. God has blessed you with gifts, talents, skills, and attributes! Use those gifts to bless the life of someone you care about. God calls us to be good friends, to love on one another, to be an encouragement. Remember that every day is a gift from our Heavenly Father – work hard to make sure each day is special to those around you!Looking for more devotionals similar to this post? The McLane College of Business publishes a weekly devotional written by their own faculty. Go check out Crucial Connections and read more!