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.
Philippians 2:29-30

When I was a high school freshman I went to a church camp and they had a belly flop contest. I was one of the finalist and went for my last dive. At that moment, I had to weigh the risks between pain and glory. So I jumped as high as I could on the diving board, grabbed both my ankles and splatted on the water with a sickening SLAP! I screamed under the water at the pain and my chest was a bright red for the rest of the day, but I won the contest! I thought the risk was worth the glory, the applause of others.

What types of rewards are worthy of great risk? The greater the reward the more we are willing to risk. Epaphroditus risks his life to serve Paul. The word “risk” is connected to gambling. Epaphroditus was “all in” on his commitment to fulfill his goal of helping Paul and it almost cost him his life.

Representing the Philippians or helping Paul are not adequate rewards for the risk of his life. What is worth the risk? The work of Christ. He nearly died serving Jesus, just as Jesus himself died for the greater goal of exaltation and providing salvation. This greater goal is to see the priorities of heaven established in simple faithfulness here on earth.

As you examine your life this week, go “all in” for the Lord in the simple opportunities all around you to do the work of Christ.

Dear Lord,
Help us to serve with a view of your greatness that makes any risk worth the reward. We thank you for the glory and honor that you give us through our redemption because of the work of Jesus. Help us to live as Christian people who have a commitment to humble service.
In Christ’s name, Amen
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