19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25 I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, 26 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29 So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30 for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
- Timothy was Paul’s Son in the Faith
- The son reflects the father
You know Timothy’s proven worth. This implies the existence of folks who are worthless or even hurtful!
v.22 As a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel
Acts 16: Paul’s second missionary journey:
16 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
- Seeking what interests Jesus
20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for many. Service to others and giving to others is a key component of the lifestyle of one who is following Jesus.
All Christ-like service has a spiritual component. The goal is to connect people to God so that they might be convinced that He is there, that He has spoken, that He has a plan for their lives that speaks to their character in every life situation. He has good works prepared in advance for them.
If people do not recognize or receive that Spiritual component, then the service has not accomplished what was intended. (John 6) Who is Jesus? What is the nature of His ministry (broadly in the world)? What is the nature of His ministry in your life?
The Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.
I have come that you might have life and that more abundantly!
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
- What did Timothy do?
- Paul couldn’t go because he was in prison: Timothy went.
- Timothy brought Paul’s letters. There is no letter to the Philippians without Timothy. Think about that. He is the trusted partner of Paul.
- He shares information back and forth. He ministers back and forth.
- When we share what Paul shared, then we join in this ministry as well. My mother was full time in this ministry, quoting from Philippians all of the time.
- Epaphroditus Paul’s Brother in the Faith v.25-30
- Another man’s disciple of Christ
No rival. Cooperation, thanksgiving for other ministers!
Taking pride in “what we do” as it compares to others is a trap!
- Fellow worker and soldier with Paul
- Worker and soldier point to discipline.
I Tim 4:7-10
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God,
- Discipline implies difficulty! Epaph. Has big health problems! Why would God allow this? We live in a sinful and twisted world. Faithfulness to God does not guarantee a simple and easy path.
- A partner in making disciples
II Tim 2: 1You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, 2 and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. 3 Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. 5 An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
- What you have heard, entrust to others who can teach others.
- Share in suffering
- Keep service to Christ as a priority
- Be disciplined to work within the rules (no crusades)
- Get up early, work hard when it is especially important to work hard, and share in the harvest!
III. We are Called to Make Disciples Too!
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
- Have this mindset in relationships
Be careful with your relationships. Be wise, understand the spirit of the age and the will of God. Be a Bible learner!
Rely upon the Holy Spirit for your power!
What is God doing in your life? What is the value to you in following Jesus Christ? Be talking about that. Then be serving and giving to others. Live the example of a Christ following life.
- Be able to explain why Jesus died
- Sin, separation, reconciliation.
This is true of Adam, others and me!
- Because God loves you
- Pray and ask God to show you opportunities to partner
- Pray for relationships
- Pray for wisdom
- Pray for impact
- Be patient in prayer: God’s Word is powerful and will not return void!
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”