Monday, February 13, 2023

Philippians: Timothy and Epaphroditus

 

STOP — Philippians 2:19-30


Summarize

Paul was in prison, but he still wanted to maintain contact with the churches he helped start. He told the Philippians that he wanted to send Timothy to them to let them know how Paul was getting along. Paul commends Timothy for his faithfulness to the Gospel and his commitment to Paul. The plan was to send Timothy to them after the decision about Paul was made, and Paul was hopeful that he could travel and see the Philippians after he was released.


Since it could be a while before those visits could happen, Paul decided to send Epaphroditus back to Philippi. Epaphroditus carried the letter and care package to Paul from the Philippians. He had been a great help to Paul in prison, even risking his life since he got sick in the process. Paul wanted the Philippians to receive him back with the knowledge that he accomplished his task and then some.


Truth

Faithfulness and commitment are essential to the life of a disciple.


Observations

  1. Paul knew that the Philippians were interested in how things were going with him, so he had the plan to send Timothy to them. It is important that we do what we can to keep the lines of communication open.
  2. Timothy set himself apart from other people because of his commitment to the Gospel. In Philippians 2:1-4 Paul wrote about the importance of not looking after your own interests, but also to consider the interests of others. Here, Paul commends Timothy for having that type of attitude.
  3. Face to face time is crucial to relationships. Paul desired to go and see the Philippians again, and he was confident that God would allow that to happen.
  4. Epaphroditus was the letter carrier from the Philippians to Paul. He did more than just carried the letter, he joined in Paul’s work when he arrived. He proved to be a great help to Paul.
  5. In his decision to carry the letter and help Paul, Epaphroditus put his life on the line when he got sick. We don’t know the risks that lay ahead of us, all we can do, like Epaphroditus, is to be faithful in the calling that is right before us.
  6. Paul saw that it was God’s mercy that heal Epaphroditus of his illness and kept Paul and the Philippians from experiencing the distress of his death.
  7. We should honor those people who put their lives on the line for the Gospel.


Prayer

Lord God, help me to follow the example of Timothy and Epaphroditus, who were faithful to the Gospel and committed to their friend Paul.


Tomorrow: Philippians 3:1-6

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