Greg Spires – Teaching Pastor
Service of Sacrifice
Read what Paul says about his good friend Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:29-30, “So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.” Epaphroditus was willing to serve Jesus by serving Paul and the church in Philippi even though it put his life at risk. A direct result of his service was that he nearly died of illness. There was no way to repay such sacrifice, and Epaphroditus certainly would not have accepted any repayment. However, Paul does call the church to honor those who sacrifice so much for the work of Jesus.
Think of what our life in Christ would be like if others weren’t willing to give up everything for Him. Do you have a Bible in English? William Tyndale gave his life up to ensure the Bible was translated into English. His efforts resulted in being burned at the stake after being strangled.
Do you worship in a Protestant church that recognizes salvation is by grace alone through faith alone? The difficulties faced by countless Christians during the period of the Reformation who were imprisoned, separated from family, left destitute, and even killed, paved the way for that privilege.
Do you worship at a church that does not have to have sanctioned authority from the government? Thankfully, our brothers who lived in the Colonies in the late 1700s were willing to endure prison, beatings, public mistreatment, and social ostracization. At the time, churches and ministers had to be approved by the local government. Unsanctioned pastors and churches faced intense persecution. Thankfully, as a result of humble endurance in suffering by these pastors and churches, the framers of the U.S. Constitution included provision for religious liberty free from government oversight.
Those who came before us followed the example of Jesus and were willing to lay it all on the line to serve His kingdom. As a result, you and I enjoy many distinct privileges and joys in our time. But we must also consider where our heat is. Are we willing to follow Christ as those who came before us did?
What will the generations that come after us experience as a result of our service to Christ today? Will they look back on our time and honor the sacrifices made that allow them to know Christ in a powerful way? The way to leave a legacy of faith is not through pursuing fame or notoriety. Rather, the way to leave a legacy of faith is through humble service and Christlike sacrifice.
We can be thankful God has sent others to pave the way for us. We can pray that God would do a work to humble us so that we can also pave the way for those who will come after us.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Philippians 2:25-30.
See you Sunday,