In The Word
Read: Philippians 2:19-30
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father. 23 Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly. 25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; 26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. 29 Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30 because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Now Paul was the one looking for encouragement. He was sad that many who claimed to know Christ were seeking after their own interests and not those of Christ. However, Paul described Timothy as one who had a kindred spirit and who was genuinely concerned for the believers. Paul reminded them that Timothy had faithfully served him in the work of the kingdom of Christ like how a child serves his father. There was also another, Epaphroditus, whom Paul described as his brother, fellow worker, messenger, minister, and fellow soldier. This mighty man of God was sick to the point of death, but Epaphroditus was not concerned with his own sickness. Rather, he was concerned for the believers who were worried about him. God had mercy on Epaphroditus not only for his sake, but also for those he served. Paul instructed them to receive this mighty man with all joy and hold those like him, those who risk their life for the work of Christ, in high regard. Paul hoped to be encouraged by Epaphroditus’s good report.
How would you be described? Would you be described like Timothy and Epaphroditus, or would you be described like Paul said of the few that were seeking their own interests? When we are seeking after Christ’s interest and not our own, we can live totally sold out to His will and can be used by the Lord to encourage and strengthen those around us. Thank God today for mighty men and women sold out to Him. If you are not one, decide today to be one.