After sharing his hope to send Timothy to the saints at Philippi, now Paul turns his attention to another of his companions, Epaphroditus.
He’s described in a wonderful threefold way; brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier (v.25). Epaphroditus is these things to Paul, and to the church at Philippi he is a messenger and their minister to [Paul’s] need. Evidently, Epaphroditus was very ill (vv.26-27), but recovered and is now ready to be received with all joy and honour (v.29) by the Philippians.
One interesting point from this passage is found in the last few words. Paul writes that Epaphroditus risked his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me (v.30b). We see that good intentions, generous ideas about what we would like to do for others, or the gifts we imagine ourself giving are actually lacking until they are actually made into a reality. Paul uses a word here that can also mean defective, so, simply, your good intentions of service, of hospitality, of dedication, of giving, or anything, are not quite enough; they’re not quite all that they ought to be until you actually do them.
Yes, the Philippians had collected a gift for Paul (4.18), but until it reached him, their intention was just that – an intention.
What have you had the intention to do,
but not yet actually done?
Can you imagine if God had the intention to love you, to redeem you, to save you from the consequences of your sin, but never actually did it? John 3.16 doesn’t say that this is how God showed He loved the world, by having the intention to do something to show it, but never getting around to it…
Today then, take your intentions from lacking and defective to active and complete. Start small, maybe one thing, but make an intention an action!