For The Kingdom: Joy-Filled Living In Difficult Days | Day 47

“I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed, he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 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 2:25-30

“Honor such men.” It is clear that believers are called to honor Kingdom Workers for their service to the King.  Since we are all called to be Kingdom Workers in one way or another, this should promote a culture of mutual honor, which will only increase our motivation to live out the call of Jesus to “Seek first the Kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33).  While we are to honor one another as Kingdom workers, we should also reserve special honor for those who have given everything in this Kingdom call.  Let’s consider

5 Ways to Honor Kingdom Workers:
1.  We value Kingdom workers.  (22) Kingdom Workers rarely appear impressive at first glance.  They may not have the accoutrements of worldly success, but Paul demonstrated how he valued Kingdom Workers in his description of his young protégé; “but you know Timothy’s proven worth.” Believers should recognize a Kingdom Worker’s worth is not based on their income but by their fruitfulness in eternal matters.

2.  We recognize Kingdom workers.  (25) On the basketball court, there is a saying, “game recognizes game.” A good player will recognize (give attention and respect) to another good player when he walks on the court.  In this passage, Paul speaks of Epaphroditus with this kind of “game recognizes game” respect.  Paul describes Epaphroditus as a… “Brother”, “Fellow worker,” “Fellow soldier,” “Messenger” and “Minister.”  When we see a brother or sister laying it all on the line for the Kingdom, we should recognize them for their service.

3.  We care for Kingdom workers. (27) Epaphroditus nearly died in his efforts to serve Paul and his local church.  Paul cared deeply for the wellbeing of this Kingdom Worker and took necessary measures to protect and preserve his health, in addition to praying for him.  We also should regularly pray for Kingdom Workers, particularly Pastors, Missionaries and those serving on the front lines of the Kingdom Ministry.  When they are wounded, exhausted or struggling, we should make special efforts to care for them, share in their struggles and do what we can to help restore them to full health. In the Kingdom, ignoring, castigating or shooting our wounded is never acceptable.

4.  We send Kingdom workers. (28) When it comes to fulfilling the great commission around the world and in the dark and difficult places of our culture, there are only two options for the Biblical Christians: Go or Send.  While we are all called to “Go” with the Gospel to our friends, communities and neighbors, not all of us are called to go to foreign lands or into challenging places in our culture.  Often, obeying God’s call to “go” to “the ends of the earth” is a costly effort.  We all must help carry the cost. 

If you are not serving as a missionary or Kingdom Worker, you should be supporting one financially. Every believer should be actively and directly supporting the of a Kingdom Worker with their finances.

Warren Mainard

5.  We celebrate Kingdom workers. (28-29) Like a soldier returning home from service, we should rejoice in our Kingdom Workers and receive them with joy and honor.  We replicate what we celebrate.  When we place value on the sacrifice and service of Kingdom Workers, we reinforce to one another, our children, and even unbelievers that we believe the Kingdom of God is our highest priority. 

When you see others serving the Kingdom… Pastors and church staff, deacons and elders, missionaries, church planters and Kingdom ministry leaders, give special attention to honor them. Some of these people you will get the opportunity to know and love, others you will never meet until you reach heaven.  If you have a few Kingdom Workers in your life, take time to honor them this week. Give them a hug and tell them you love them! Give them a call and say “thank you!” Send them a card and remind them they have not been forgotten.  Financially support their ministry!  Pray for them!  Ask how you can help them! Honor them well!

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