This sermon was based on Philippians 2:19-30
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. 23I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
25I 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, 26for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. 27Indeed 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. 28I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. 29So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, 30for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.
- Christ – When you focus on Christ and allow Him to capture your heart / your mind / your focus.
Radical things happen. You change. Your desires change. Your priorities change. Your decisions change.
- Love – You can’t love others in the fullest sense, until you realise just how much you are loved. Love focusses on what you have in common – Christ, and it stops you elevating yourself.
- Humility – Seeking your own interest, is selfish. It is full of pride and Pride always loses. It Destroys. Whilst Pride breaks down, Humility builds up.
- Stick together – The closest friendships are the ones that have stood together through thick and thin. The ones where people have dug deep together. The ones that have stood side by side – ‘worked’ together and ‘fought’ together.
- Be Fluid – Its important to hold plans lightly and be ready to be fluid as needs arise. It’s ok to serve somewhere, or someone, and then move on with fluidity to another need that arises.
- Serve Anyone – Timothy spent significant amount of time serving Paul. Epaphroditus served the Philippian church. Paul served individuals, small groups, churches, hostile Gentiles, soldiers and VIPs. It doesn’t really matter who you serve. It doesn’t really matter if it is noticed by many, or just by a few. Ultimately you serve Christ.
- Sacrifice – Paul knew what following Christ meant. It meant sacrifice. For us this can mean giving up our own interests. Those things that we hold so tightly, that we are not willing to give them up, for Christ, for others.
- By focussing on Christ, He transforms us into His image.
- By loving others – out of a response that He loved first – our hearts our changed.
- Humility grows – we make decisions that put other’s needs first.
- When we do that…God is glorified!