THURSDAY, MAY 28
“For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.”
Philippians 2:30 (NLT2)
FRIENDS WHO PUT OUR NEEDS AHEAD OF THEIR OWN
Gabriel Hurles was enjoying his sixth birthday party. He was so focused on eating his birthday cake, that he hardly noticed the giant package in the corner of the room. When another child pointed out the large gift, Gabriel ran over and began to tear off the wrapping. It wasn’t a bicycle or any of the other items a six-year-old would want. It was his dad, Army Specialist Casey Hurles, home on leave from the war in Iraq. Gabriel and his father had been apart for seven months, so when Casey learned his leave would coincide with his son’s birthday, he hatched a plan to offer one whale of a surprise.
The greatest gift anyone ever gives is themself. In Philippians, Epaphroditus literally risked his life to show up and minister to Paul’s needs. Epaphroditus got sick along the way but didn’t turn back and didn’t quit. He pressed through the illness to help with Paul’s needs. The two were connected for life after this point.
We can see this type of selfless love played out daily in the lives of many of our first responders. They show up when there is pain, hurt or danger to bring help, healing and protection. What if we saw the church more as a first responder to people’s needs? What if we were willing to sacrifice to be there for others and meet needs around us? What are ways you can think of right now that you could be a first responder of sorts to those around you?