From restaurants to hardware stores to construction companies, customers know that two simple words often make all the difference: “family owned.” An organization that is managed by the same people who have invested their heart and life savings in it will be distinctly different from one that is driven by the profit margins of a faceless corporation.
Epaphras was a coworker of Paul. The same was undoubtedly true for the way that Epaphras looked after the needs of the Colossian church.
What the Bible says about Epaphras speaks a lot for his devotion to Christ and to the Colossian church. He apparently came from Colosse (Colossians 4:12) and was a coworker with Paul while he was in prison. Paul even refers to him as a “fellow prisoner” in his letter to Philemon (Philemon 1: 23), although it is not clear if Paul meant this literally or not.
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul refers to Epaphras as a “dear fellow servant” and “a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf” (Colossians 1:7). It seems that Epaphras first brought the gospel to his fellow Colossians, perhaps by Paul’s directive, and he reported to Paul of the Colossians’ love in the Spirit (Colossians 1:8).
Epaphras’s great care for the Colossians is evident in the way that he was always “wrestling in prayer for [them], that [they] may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Colossians 4:12).
Paul vouched for him that he was working hard for them and for the churches in their neighboring cities of Laodicea and Hierapolis.
How invested are you in your care for those around you? Do you “wrestle in prayer” for them that they may grow in spiritual maturity? Do you work hard to help them grow? Be a faithful minister to the people God brings into your life.