2:19-30 It is best with us, when our duty becomes natural to us. Naturally, that is, sincerely, and not in pretence only; with a willing heart and upright views. We are apt to prefer our own credit, ease, and safety, before truth, holiness, and duty; but Timothy did not so. Paul desired liberty, not that he might take pleasure, but that he might do good. Epaphroditus was willing to go to the Philippians, that he might be comforted with those who had sorrowed for him when he was sick. It seems, his illness was caused by the work of God. The apostle urges them to love him the more on that account. It is doubly pleasant to have our mercies restored by God, after great danger of their removal; and this should make them more valued. What is given in answer to prayer, should be received with great thankfulness and joy.
30. for the work of Christ—namely, the bringing of a supply to me, the minister of Christ. He was probably in a delicate state of health in setting out from Philippi; but at all hazards he undertook this service of Christian love, which cost him a serious sickness.
not regarding his life—Most of the oldest manuscripts read, "hazarding," &c.
to supply your lack of service—Not that Paul would imply, they lacked the will: what they "lacked" was the "opportunity" by which to send their accustomed bounty (Php 4:10). "That which ye would have done if you could (but which you could not through absence), he did for you; therefore receive him with all joy" [Alford].