This week, March 4, 2018, Pastor Ed Allen continued his series studying Philippians with the passage Philippians 2:19-30.
This passage doesn't seem as inspiring, but Paul includes two examples of Christian service. If you were writing a letter and including people as examples who touched your life, who would you include?
More important, whose letter would you be in as an example of someone who touched their life with Christian service?
[As it happens, we have many opportunities at Gateway to touch the lives of others, especially children! We will begin having two services each Sunday beginning Easter Sunday, April 1st. So we actually need twice as many volunteers.
We had an opportunity to walk around and meet people and check the four tables with volunteer opportunities - which will also be up next week.]
Paul offers Timothy as an example because:
1) Timothy understands and practices Christian unity (verse 20 - No one is like-minded with me like Timothy.).
2) Timothy was principally concerned with the cause of Jesus Christ (verse 21).
This matches Paul - he, too, measured his circumstances by whether they advance the cause of Christ.
3) Paul had mentored Timothy in the faith (verse 22).
Mentoring and being mentored helps us grow in our faith.
Paul offers Epaphroditus as an example because:
1) Epaphroditus was well-known to the Philippians. He was a more real world example for them (verse 25).
2) Epaphroditus was a fellow soldier with Paul (verse 25).
This was not casual spirituality.
3) Epaphroditus was an "apostle" and minister to Paul's needs (verse 25).
He was a "sent one." He had a special calling and he accomplished it.
Honor people like this and follow their example.
We need examples in our lives. We need people like that, who minister to the needs of others. We need these people. And we need to be this kind of people.
Who would you put in your letter? Who would put you in their letter?