When in ministry, it’s always helpful to have at least one person you can always count on, who shares the same vision and passion that you do, and is always there to help you fulfill the duties of your calling. Such individuals are invaluable and in great demand. Paul was blessed to have several men who fit this category: Titus, Aquila, Silas, Luke. However, there was one young man that stood out above the others and became vital to Paul and his ministry. That person was Timothy.
Darkness can be a scary place. Whether it’s a child with a vivid imagination or an adult who has begun to grasp the depravity of man, lack of light can cause unrest and fear. This is why parents invest in night lights and adults buy flashlights. For darkness is vanquished when light appears. The two cannot coexist.
The same is true in the spiritual realm. As sin increases, so also the darkness becomes thicker. However, light can still pierce the darkness and break its power. And we are that light. We are God’s night lights in a sense and are called to shine with the brilliance of the hope that we have. As Paul exhorts us in Philippians 2:14-15:
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.”
People work out for many different reasons. Some want to look buff, others like the feeling of working up a sweat (I have no idea why!), while others want to get stronger and stay fit. No matter the reason, it’s important, especially in our sedentary society, to give our bodies the exercise they need so that they can stay healthy and in top physical shape.
However, our physical bodies are not the only ones that need a workout! Did you know that your spiritual life needs to work out too? Exercising and building up our spiritual muscles is actually more important than working on our physical ones. Here’s what Paul has to say on this matter.
Humility is such a difficult character trait to have. Because once we think we’ve attained it, we just lost it! But what is humility? And what does it look like?
Webster’s dictionary defines humility as “freedom from pride or arrogance, the quality or state of being humble.” As for a perfect example of humility, there is only one: Jesus Christ.
You might have heard or read this acrostic before. It’s so true! The secret to joy is finding the right priorities and putting them in the correct order. While life isn’t always so simple and clear cut, the general outline of “Jesus, others, you” is a good way to start getting things in the correct order.
While Paul never explicitly states this nifty maxim, he does stress the importance of putting others before yourself and Jesus above all else. As we move into Philippians 2, the first thing we find is an exhortation to count others above ourselves. This is no easy thing. But let’s see what Paul has to say about it.