What I took away from today’s reading is that we should be like Timothy. What do I mean? Take a look at how highly Paul speaks of Timothy. He “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.
Paul has seen a lot in his life, both before and after his conversion. For him to have high praise and confidence in Timothy speaks very well for his young protege.
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? Do you do so to bring joy to others? Think about this for a moment. Maybe you’ll even feel uncomfortable for a moment.
Paul also introduces us to Epaphroditus. Paul tell us he is a “true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier.” He, too, risked his life for the gospel. I 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.
Let’s think on that for a moment. Imagine that sharing your faith was a life or death matter. Would you be willing to risk your life for Jesus? What would you be doing different 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 and assurance.
The good news is that for most of us we don’t have to be on the front lines. We are in our safe little lives. There are plenty of people just a stone’s throw away that don’t know the life saving truth that we hold dear. They don’t know Jesus. We can’t assume that everybody who looks like us knows. Even if they know, they may not have the relationship that holds them together.
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 done and complete. We need to rely and trust and help 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.