Tuesday, March 24, 2015

at your service

I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. (Philippians 2:19-23)

Today, I was reading about Paul and Timothy and the Philippian church. Paul was writing a letter to the church at Philippi and wanted to send someone personally to convey his concerns and witness church matters first hand. In my study, I realized that there were certainly hundreds of Christians in Rome at the time Paul wrote this letter to the Philippian church... more than enough to help Paul deliver his message for the sake of the gospel and the cause of Christianity. (I noticed that Paul even greets twenty-six of these Roman Christian's by name in Romans 16.)

So, needless to say, it made me very sad when I read his discouraging words about sending a representative on his behalf to Philippi. (See Philippians 2:20-21... I've listed it in several translations for you to digest.)

"I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ." (NIV)

"For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus." (NKJV)

"I have no one quite like Timothy. He is loyal, and genuinely concerned for you. Most people around here are looking out for themselves, with little concern for the things of Jesus." (The Message)

I couldn't believe it. Not one Christian from Rome was available or concerned to help out Paul??? Didn't anyone care about the church in Philippi? How embarrassing for Paul to have to write to this church and include the statement that there was no one like-minded or concerned for their well-being. If not for Timothy, what would Paul have done?

It made me wonder how many "Christians" are among us that take time or show real concern to live for Jesus. How many REALLY serve??? Sure, most can talk a great talk, but do they really offer up a sacrificial love toward others and show it in their actions?

I understand that we are not perfect. I freely admit that a submissive character does not come naturally to us because of our sinful nature. But if we are to grow and become more like Jesus (living in His Name), we must cultivate our likemindedness with Christ's and be available for Him to work through us - - when needed!

Where were all these Roman Christians when the need arose? Who really was willing to serve?

It is terrible to think that the believers in Rome were so engrossed in themselves and their own internal wranglings (Philippians 1:15-16) that they had no time for the important work of the Lord. The whole matter has caused me to ask myself some hard questions.... Am I truly concerned about what really matters most to Jesus? Am I available and ready for acting out whatever God needs me to do?  Or am I busying myself with selfish day-to-day trivialities?

Praise the Lord that Timothy was a man who actively sought to be closer to God and thus became the kind of servant that Paul could trust and rely upon. Timothy was interested in the spiritual condition of God's people. Because of this, God blessed Timothy and blessed the church at Philippi. Irrespective of other so-called "Christians" who showed no fruit to advance God's work, Timothy was there. Ready to serve. Available to be used.

In conclusion, please pray over these very important questions, "How would Paul describe ME in the letter to the Philippians? Would he liken me to Timothy or everybody else?" I pray that God will direct our paths and that we will respond as available and ready to serve so that we may be used for His holy, perfect purpose.

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5)

Blessings!

~Victoria

© The Devoted Woman | Victoria Anderson

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