Who loves you most?

This is the week we celebrate people we love — friends and family alike. Most of us will come in contact with some chocolate, flowers, cards or balloons either as a gift giver or recipient. Many of us will purchase or display heart-shaped decor in our home or office. And when we get dressed on Wednesday, February 14, many of us will wear something red.

Who has loved us most?

We have best friends to whom we are deeply committed. We have family members, parents, children and romantic partners and spouses that we would die for. But let’s not forget someone this year who may have loved us most.

Let’s not forget our Epaphras.

When Paul is writing to faithful saints in Christ in Colossae, he notes that the gospel came to them through a person.

…the gospel, which has come to you…is bearing fruit and increasing…since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. (Colossians 1:4b-7a)

Who is your Epaphras?

If you subscribe to this blog, the gospel has probably come to you through a person like Epaphras who took the time to tell you the message of truth — the gospel. Who took the time to tell you? I am so glad they did!

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14)

Are you remembering the highest form of love?

It feels like Christianity has lost some of its fervor about the souls of people. We get lured into thinking people are okay because they have a home, good job and friends and family. Yet all of that is over in a blink. Ask any parent watching their child at a high school or college graduation. Ask any person who has lost a loved one without warning. Ask any person with advanced cancer or heart failure about the brevity of life. Time passes by — tick-tock, tick-tock.

 It can be argued that the people in your life who care about your soul and relationship with God are the ones who love us most.  While we tell our friends and loved ones “everything,” are we telling them about how to have a relationship with Jesus too? Are we risking what others may think about us as we are honest about our entire lives, including our faith in Christ? I dismissed the person who told me about Jesus, but his words landed deep into my heart and I surrendered my life to Jesus six days later.

My Epaphras doesn’t even know about me.

Let’s not forget to send a valentine to the ones who love us most, those who care about all parts of us, including our soul. Let’s follow their example by living authentically as Christ followers, not hiding our faith from others. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. (Matthew 5:15)

Happy Valentine’s day, dear reader. I care about your soul.

Picture Explanation: Where did the first year go? It flew by, as all time does when looking back. I care about every aspect of this little boy’s life including his soul. I plan to be an Epaphras to him, and I know I won’t be the only one. “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Mark 8:36)

Speaking of living with eternity in mind: If you are interested in being contacted to participate in a One Gritty Blink Bible study, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity!

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

6 Responses

  1. The ones who love us most, like Epaphras! Brilliant reminder, Laurie. Thank you for ALWAYS spurring your readership to love & good deeds with your challenging & deep insights into the heart of God. Iron sharpens iron. Thank you for your weekly “sharpening”. Love you so.

    1. Thank you for being an Epaphras for so many. The full fruit of your labor will someday be revealed. What will we do? Dance with joy? Laugh with glee? Go face down in humility and gratitude? All of the above, I suspect. I love you too.

  2. I agree with Margee. Thank you for spurring us on to love and good deeds and challenging us in deeper insights in the Lord! You are the one who made me want to memorize scripture, and it has been one of the biggest blessings of my life! Thank you for the example of your faithful walk with Jesus that has influenced my walk with Jesus too! I love you, Laurie!

      1. Hi, Friend! I don’t know the name of the man who made clear to me at a retreat at the age of 17 what I needed to do to be sure I had eternal life. I don’t remember the name of the man who came up to me after I gave my testimony in my home church during my first year of college and said that earlier in my life when he had taught Sunday school to me he sensed my inquisitiveness and had been praying for me. He probably had shared the gospel, and at that point I didn’t clearly understand it. I don’t know the names of the Sunday School teachers who taught me about Jesus. I’m thankful for the pastor’s wife who did initial follow up with me through the book “What Happens When Women Pray.” I am thankful to you and M.C. who helped me understand assurance of salvation and were Jesus to me in my early college years. There are many other Epaphrases whom God used in my 20s and 30s to bring about my spiritual formation. I am grateful for all of them. Throughout the decades God has used you, Dear Friend, in my life. Thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!

        1. Oh, I love the list your shared of all the Epaphrases! You made me aware that I have more than one as well. Thank God for them all. And thank God for what He does with all of our efforts even when we don’t know. We will someday though! Someday we will see that all we did by faith for Him counted in magnificent ways.

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Planting and Watering

I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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