Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me. ~Philippians 2:30
The recent passing of a famous and talented sports personality in a tragic accident gripped the hearts of our nation, the basketball community, and his hometown where he played. When news of his tragic passing occurred, everyone was stunned. One retired sports personality said that this news changed his priorities and how he treated his relationships. Epaphroditus was “nigh unto death.” If you knew that you did not have long to live, how would this affect your priorities in life?
It should affect our work.
Epaphroditus was a servant of the Lord, and, most likely, the pastor of the church at Philippi. Three times, Paul makes mention that he was sick and, specifically, sick unto death. Even though he was weak and deathly sick, he continued to push forward and serve the Lord. How should our work for the Lord be affected? First, important tasks should be finished. Second, written instructions should be communicated on how the work should be done. Third, we should let our co-laborers know that we appreciate them and then charge them to give their best to the Lord. Like our Lord Jesus, we should prioritize what needs to be done so that we can say, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
It should affect our witness.
It was said of Epaphroditus that “he longed after you all.” We should prioritize getting a gospel witness to family, friends, and acquaintances who are not saved. We should write a letter with the gospel message in it to be read to our unsaved relatives and friends. Curtis Hutson had the plan of salvation written out on his tombstone so that all passersby would see it. We should make clear that we want the gospel preached at our memorial service. The Bible says, “He being dead yet speaketh.”
It should affect our wealth.
Epaphroditus was ready to supply. We brought nothing into this world materially, and it is certain that we will take nothing out. We should consider making distributions of our wealth prior to our departure. We should benefit the work of the Lord through giving. Make sure your tithing is current. Make special offerings for missions and building campaigns. As someone has said, “We should do our giving while we’re living.” We should be ready to distribute, be rich in good works, and do what we can.
We should have a will.
It is important not to leave this life without a written will. This lays out how our possessions should be distributed after we are gone. It tells who, what, how, and when. It does not leave this to the state we are domiciled in to decide this. It helps us avoid unnecessary costs and taxes. If what we own is placed in a living trust, it gives perpetuity to our estate. It makes sure that our immediate survivors are well taken care of when we are gone.
Although we would rather avoid a topic like this, Epaphroditus’ urgency reminds us that we must not squander our opportunities but do what we can to make a final impact with our life. Treat each day as if it was your last, and you will find yourself moving with a sense of urgency and having the right priorities.
Have a prioritized God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 3-4