The Joyful Life is The Life of Sacrifice And Service


Paul points out in this passage that choice servants of God should provide examples for others to follow. He introduces to us two of his helpers in the ministry, Timothy and Epaphroditus who are this kind of example (vv. 19-30). The Christians at Rome were not really interested in the problems of the believers in Philippi. Paul says that he could not find one person among them who was willing to go to Philippi. Were Christians in Rome so lacking in spirituality that he could find absolutely no one but Timothy to undertake a mission that required the ability to discern and encourage? Would he look at our churches today and say: ‘all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus’? Many of us know there is very little of Christ in much of so-called Christendom. It sometimes seems that ‘Christendom’ would be better called ‘Us-endom.’

If Paul ever needed Timothy, it was while he was under house arrest. However, his deep concern for his friend’s back in Philippi prompted him to send Timothy to visit and minister to them. Timothy was an excellent example of a person who was more concerned about others than himself (vv 19-24). In fact his whole life stands as an example for every Child of God today. Timothy knew the meaning of sacrifice and service. It is very easy to pay lip-service to being Christ-centered while we are really being self-centered. To see this one needs only to listen to the words of many popular Christian songs.    


Just as the Christians in Rome were too busy, many Christians today are too preoccupied with their own needs to spend time working for Christ. I must never let my schedule and concerns crowd out my time with the Lord or in meeting the spiritual needs of others.

Philippians 2:17-23 (English Standard Version)

Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me....

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