What does it mean to be like Timothy? Paul tells us Timothy “genuinely cares” about people and how they are getting along. He has the heart of a servant and has walked alongside Paul while preaching the Good News. Can you imagine how amazing that would have been to spend time with Paul?
Paul has seen a lot in his life, both before and after his conversion in Acts. For him to have such high praise and confidence in Timothy speaks very well for his young protégé.
How would you measure up to Paul’s scrutiny? What are your motivations when it comes to caring for others and serving God’s people? Do you do so out of obligation or because you think it’s the “right thing” to do? Maybe your motivation is to bring joy to others. Think about this for just a moment. Do you feel uncomfortable?
Paul also introduces us to Epaphroditus. We learn Epaphroditus is a “true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier.” He, too, risked his life for the gospel. It would be safe to assume that most, if not all, of us have never risked our life for the gospel. I’m not sure what that would even look like, but I imagine it would be terrifying. Again, we see Paul bringing friends together to share in this faith journey through life.
Imagine that sharing your faith with others was a life or death matter. Would you be willing to risk your life for Jesus? What would you be doing differently than you already are? Would you recognize yourself or your life?
How we answer these questions will say a lot about our level of trust in Jesus and assurance of our salvation. “Wishy washy” believers could not stand strong in the face of adversity.
Here’s a newsflash! We are all on the front lines fighting the good fight. Are we staying where it’s “safe” and comfortable or being seen as faithful? Think of all the people around us who don’t know the life saving truth we hold dear. They don’t know Jesus. We can’t assume our neighbors have even met Jesus. Even if they have heard of Jesus, they may be missing out on having the relationship that will hold them together for eternity.
We need to be ready to be soldiers for Christ. Fighting the battles that rage in our lives, knowing that our true king has won the final victory. Our battles are temporary. They will fade into memory. What Jesus has done for us is complete. We don’t need to fear, even though this world can be a scary place. We need to rely on Jesus and trust him with our lives, all while helping others do the same.
Let’s pray. Father thank you for arming me with your word and your promises. Thank you for the faithful that have gone before me. Give me the boldness I need to proclaim your truth. You are the way, the truth, and the life, and nothing I say or do will change that. No power in this world can change your ultimate power and victory. May I never waver in my faith because of those that tempt me. Help me be strong. In Jesus’ name. Amen.