In Philippians 2:17-30 we see three examples of sacrifice.
- 17-18- Paul
- 19-24- Timothy
- 25-30- Epaphroditus
Last week we looked at the first example, the apostle Paul. We saw how he poured out his life as a drink offering unto the Lord.
Today we want to examine that second example listed. Notice the example of Timothy in today’s text.
(19) But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. (20) For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. (21) For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. (22) But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. (23) Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. (24) But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
Timothy was from Lystra. Paul himself had led him to Christ. This is why Paul called Timothy his son in the ministry. He had an interesting home life. His father, a Greek, was probably not a Christian. His mother and grandmother, both Jews, raised him to fear God. Timothy’s heritage as both a Jew and Greek uniquely positioned to help him minister to both Jew and Gentile. The only thing that kept him from effectively ministering to the Jews was the fact that he was not circumcised.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
Paul had a dual ministry. He wanted to reach both the Jew and the gentile. This is why Paul lead Timothy to get circumcised. We find out about his home life, his heritage, and Paul’s taking him to get circumcised in Acts 16.
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: (2) Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. (3) Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. Acts 16:1-3
By the time that Paul is writing the book of Philippians, Timothy had been working with him for 10 years. He had an important role in Paul’s ministry because he is mentioned 28 times in the New Testament.
It is obvious that Paul had a close relationship with Timothy:
1 Timothy 1:2
Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:2
To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Corinthians 4:17
For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
1 Thessalonians 3:2
And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
In verse 19 of today’s text, Paul is informing the Philippian believers that he is going to send him to them to minister.
In the text we are studying today, Paul gives them a profile of Timothy by giving them six characteristics of Timothy:
Characteristic #1. He was likeminded with Paul. (v.20)
Over the course of time, Timothy had become like Paul. He taught, prayed, ministered, trusted God, and thought like Paul!
Characteristic #2. He was caring. (v.20)
Timothy had a genuine concern for the needs of others. He had a pastor’s heart. He cared for people. Ministry is about people, and Timothy was all about people. When we genuinely care about others, we will exemplify the words that we learned about in Philippians 2:3-4.
Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Timothy understood how to care for people.
Characteristic #3. He was not self-centered. (v.21)
This was true of people that Paul talked about in chapter 1. They preached Christ out of contention. They were primarily about themselves. Paul was not like that. We need to think about that ourselves at CBT. Ministry can not be about self-promotion. the needs of others above ourselves.
Characteristic #4. He was seasoned and trustworthy. (v.22)
Timothy was no longer a novice. 10 years had lapsed from when he first begun to minister to Paul. He had proved himself to be both faithful and effective. He was the real deal. At this point in his ministry Paul trusted Timothy.
Characteristic #5. He had a servants heart. (v.22)
Timothy exemplified Psalm 100:2.
Psalms 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
It is a privilege and honor to serve God. We serve like Christ when we serve people.
Matthew 9:35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Even though Timothy was submissive to Paul’s leadership, notice that Paul does not say “served me” but says “served with me”. When we lose our servants heart, we lose our effectiveness in ministry. All of us need to view ourselves as “servants of Jesus Christ”. Our desire is to one day hear those words, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”. We are to be servants.
Characteristic #6. He was available. (v.23)
When Paul said he was ready to send him “presently” he meant that Timothy was ready immediately. He was available. Have you ever given yourself to God? Have you ever told the Lord that you are available for anything?
Ministry will not happen without sacrifice. We cannot talk about the success of a local church ministry without the sacrifice that people have made for that ministry.
Are you ready to lay your life down as a living sacrifice? Are you ready to pour out your life fully as an offering to God? Commit to that today!
Have you accepted the gift of eternal life made possible by God’s sacrifice of His Son for your sins? You can read about that by clicking here. Contact us below so we can help you take that step!