Living Life with God's Irrepressible Joy
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.
Our study is on Philippians, so you may wonder why we’re talking about Timothy. Timothy was an important person to the Philippian Church. He was the only person Paul mentions with him in the greeting and was the one man Paul entrusted the spiritual welfare of Philippians to. For Paul was planning on sending Timothy to Philippi to check on the church and see how they were doing, as we read in Philippians 2:19-22:
“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.”
What a high recommendation Paul gives Timothy! The statement, “for I have no one like him,” is probably the greatest compliment one in ministry could get. However, Timothy didn’t get puffed up with pride by Paul’s glowing report. He remained humble and faithful in the ministry, focused on the needs of the fledgling churches rather than his own fame.
Can people say the same thing of us? Are we more interested in serving Jesus Christ or promoting our fame and renown? Today, it is so easy to get caught up with recognition, popularity, and stardom and forget who we’re supposed to serve. Not that these things our bad, but Jesus is the only one worthy of fame and adoration. As we already learned, God has promoted Jesus above all and given Him the name above all names. So let’s be careful to always keep Jesus at the forefront of all we do, not seeking our own interests or renown.
Back to Timothy. He was a young man, probably in his young adulthood who had the privilege of being discipled by Paul. Throughout the New Testament, we see his name scattered among Paul’s epistles. Timothy was Paul’s spiritual son and was eventually give leadership over the Ephesian church and its surrounding region. However, before assuming that position, he spent much of his time traveling the Roman Empire checking on churches, delivering letters, and bringing encouragement to various parts of Paul’s ministry. One of the many places he went was Philippi. We don’t know when he went or what impact he had on the Philippians, but I’m sure that after Paul’s introduction, the Philippians welcomed Timothy with open arms.
While there is so much we can learn from Timothy and his example of faithful service with Paul, I think the greatest take-away we get from this passage in Philippians is the fact that Timothy’s worth was proven. His service in the ministry was known worldwide, and Paul entrusted to him the delicate and important task of visiting and helping young churches stand firm on the truth.
Truly, young Timothy was Paul’s right hand man whose worth was proven and established among the spiritual leadership of the first century. So what can we learn from Timothy’s character and example? And how can we be more like him?
Something to ponder and think about…