The Ballestero Blog

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He Gambled With His Life

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He Gambled With His Life.

He was born into a world of slavery, so his name was a common slave’s name of the day. They named him Epaphroditus after the Greek god, Aphrodite. His name, among other things, meant lovely, beautiful or charming.

No Christian would ever give their child such a name. But it didn’t matter now. He was a first generation follower of Christ.

His Background

He was born and raised in Philippi. He had received the Holy Ghost and was baptized in Jesus Name in the church that was started after the imprisonment and then the deliverance of Paul and Silas. His church just happened to be in the very city that Nero lived.

Nero was a most perverted emperor who crucified Christians regularly and killed them just for sport. Yet, somehow he could not stop the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians could even be found in his own household.  https://martynballestero.com/2011/04/03/the-church-in-the-torture-chamber/

It is thought that Epaphroditus was a man of means and respected by those in the congregation. It is known, however, that he was a delegate of the church and was their personal representative to the Apostle Paul.

Paul Got Arrested

About A.D. 61 word had been received in Philippi, that Paul was unjustly imprisoned in Rome, some 800 miles away. (According to Roman custom, if he were not actually in prison, at least he would be placed under some kind of house arrest, and chained to a Roman Soldier. Phil 1:13)

As a prisoner, Paul now had no opportunity to make tents and sell them. He certainly desperately needed help on many levels. He needed money, he was writing letters (Epistles) to churches, and there was no one to minister to his personal health needs.

The church family of Philippi took up a love offering for Paul, and commissioned Epaphroditus to deliver the money and minister to whatever needs Paul may have.

Epaphroditus readily took that commission to heart, and carried it out the best of his ability.

Whatever Paul needed, Epaphroditus obtained for him. Serving Paul was the honor of his life. This was the man who had brought the Gospel to his city and was greatly punished for it. This man was his hero, so he served him willingly.

If the Apostle Paul had never visited Philippi, Epaphroditus most likely would still be living in sin. That thought could not be erased from his mind.

Epaphroditus knew well the meaning of living outside of his life. His background now came to the foreground. He was a slave by birth, now he was a voluntary love slave unto the work of the Lord. He had the heart of a servant, and it showed.

He served Paul diligently day and night without even stopping to take care of himself. He never looked at his work as sacrifice. He willingly served. He burned the candle of his life at both ends.

 

Here Is What Paul Wrote To The Church At Philippi:

Phil 2:25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

Phil 2:26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.

Phil 2:27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

Phil 2:28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.

Phil 2:29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:

Phil 2:30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

Paul Called Epaphroditus His:

  1. Brother
  2. Companion
  3. Fellow Soldier

It is commonly believed that Epaphroditus was retired after serving the mandatory twenty-five years in the Roman Army.

He was the kind of man who would rather burn out, than rust out. He didn’t just retire. He refocused and threw himself into the work of the Lord. His local church had seen that willingness in him and chose him to represent them, to Paul. He did not let them down.

His Name

Now let’s look again at the name Epaphroditus. Remember I told you that it meant that he was named after the goddess Aphrodite? Aphrodite was the goddess of luck; actually, she was the goddess of luck and the goddess of beauty as well.

And when the Greeks rolled the dice in their games of chance, they would say “Epaphroditus” as they rolled the dice. His name not only meant Beautiful, but Luck.

A Servant Doesn’t Quit

  • A servant doesn’t quit just because the task is hard.
  • A servant doesn’t quit just because he is tired.
  • A servant just doesn’t quit.

 

Epaphroditus Gave All

All Epaphroditus knew to do was to give himself to the work of God, no matter how lowly the service. He gave his all and his health as well. He almost died. A man called Beautiful risked his life for the work of the Lord. A man called Luck risked everything for the work of the Lord. He did it without thinking twice about it.

What If Epaphroditus Attended Our Church? Would He…

  1. Show up for the Epaphroditus workday at the church?
  2. Show up for Visitation?
  3. Teach Home Bible Studies?
  4. Make sure the Church was clean and ready for service?
  5. Volunteer, or have to be recruited?
  6. Freely minister to the needs of his Man of God?
  7. Ask if there was anything else he could do?

Lord, Give Us Another Epaphroditus!

Lord, If You Need Another Epaphroditus, Send Me!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

November 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm

3 Responses

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  1. You have done it again. Masterfully written. Love you . Thankful and proud to call you friend. JMD

    Jon McDonald

    November 18, 2012 at 12:04 am

    • Thank you so much for the gracious compliment. You indeed have been a friend to me. Love ya so much!

      Martyn Ballestero

      November 18, 2012 at 7:46 am

  2. This is such a cool ministry. I’m pretty new to this blog and I first started really reading when “Mr. Winkles..” was posted a couple of weeks ago. This blog site has really inspired me. I might start a blog one day :).
    Thank you for sharing and being an inspiration.
    God richly bless!

    Apostolic Sister

    November 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm


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