But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. (Philippians 2:19-23)
No One Like-Minded
Paul loved Timothy. And for good reason. There was a special bond between these men that endeared them to the work of the gospel. They both loved the Lord with all their hearts and they both had a sincere love for the people of God. In his letter to Philippi, the apostle is excited about having Timothy return to Macedonia and edify the brethren. If there was one person Paul knew would do a good job it was Timothy. He had been tried and found faithful. His character was dependable. It was not a hard choice to send someone like Timothy because while others were distracted with the affairs of life the son of Eunice and Lois could be trusted to help in the work of the kingdom.
Timothy was not the only one Paul could depend on. He mentions in his letter Epaphroditus as one of his fellow workers who expended his life for the work of the Lord. The final paragraph of Paul’s letter to Rome included over 30 people commended for their labor in the work of the church. In almost all of his writings Paul takes note of simple servants of Christ doing their part to help in the ministry. Everyone is important to Paul – everyone is important to Jesus.
The commendation of Timothy does not set him apart from others because he is better than others. Quite the opposite. The spirit of Timothy is that he had shown himself to be dependable and Paul reflects on how dear to his own heart Timothy was – because when asked to do a job – he did so. That is a character I need to learn in my life. Being dependable is giving a measure of trustworthiness that others can count on my being able to help in the work of the church. Growth in the local congregation comes from what I bring to the table and what people can depend on me doing. Everyone has a part – everyone. I may not be able to preach or teach or lead singing but I still have a place in the work of the Lord. Every member is necessary and it is necessary that every member know how invaluable their service is to God.
Last night was a great time to be with brethren during the middle of the week. As we reach forward to Sunday let’s refuel our spirits to do our part in helping the church of _____ (where I live) grow in love, spirit, number and vitality. Let me be the leaven that helps the local church be a place where the spirit of God dwells. I want to be a ‘Timothy’ that people can depend on. Lord, give me courage to be an example to others; a hand to help my fellow man; a heart that will seek opportunities to teach my neighbor; let me be a light shining where I am to Your glory.
Take that gift that God has entrusted to you no matter how humble it may seem to be, and use it in the service of Christ and your fellow men. He will make it glow and shine like the very stars of heaven. (John Sutherland Bonnell, What Are You Living For? 1950)