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Excellent Examples to Emulate!

As we wrap up Philippians 2 in our Joy on the Journey series, we’re introduced to two excellent examples we can learn from and even emulate to some degree in our own faith journey. Timothy and Epaphroditus were ordinary guys who God used in extraordinary ways for the sake of the gospel. And He can do the same in our lives too! 

Maybe you don’t think you have much to offer for Christ’s sake; or maybe you want to serve Christ in extraordinary ways, but you just aren’t sure how to go about that or what that might look like in your life. Maybe you haven’t yet caught the vision for the humility of Jesus that Paul emphasizes in this book. Timothy and Epaphroditus are excellent examples for us to emulate on our faith journey. Both seemed to have the mind of Christ, marked by service and sacrifice. 

In Philippians 2:19-25, we discover at least three attributes we can emulate from Timothy.

1) Timothy was fully invested where others weren’t.

20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. Philippians 2:20

There were plenty of Believers in Rome at this time, yet Paul said he didn’t have anyone else like Timothy. To me, the fact that there was no one else like Timothy in Rome is both an indictment against the Believers there and an endorsement of Timothy as Paul’s primary protege. Paul thought a lot of Timothy. He viewed him as a son. (Phil. 2:22)

Paul personally discipled Timothy. He invested greatly in him, teaching him everything he needed to know about being a fully devoted follower of Jesus.  (1 Cor. 4:17). Timothy was deeply committed to Christ and to the church. He wanted to see the kingdom of God expand on Earth and, like Paul, knew that the local church would be the hands and feet of Jesus. Timothy was fully invested in the Lord’s work where others weren’t. 

How about you? Are you like Timothy in that way? Fully invested in the Lord’s work? Timothy was. And you can be too! 

2) Timothy was willing to go where others weren’t. 

20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. Philippians 2:20

With risk of beating up the Believers in Rome at that time, apparently there was no one else who cared enough about the spiritual well-being of the Believers in the Philippian church to go to minister to them. No one seemed to be concerned about their welfare. Obviously Paul wanted to go, and he hoped to go, but for now he was limited by the fact that he was chained to a Roman guard 24-7 as he awaited his hearing before Caesar. So Paul planned to send Timothy, who was willing to go when others said “no.” Why do you think no one else was willing to go? Paul tells us in the next verse.

3) Timothy was more concerned about elevating Jesus than elevating himself. 

21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.  Philippians 2:21

At this point, there is little doubt that Paul was not impressed with his fellow Believers in Rome. He thought they were remarkable people… remarkably selfish! They were only concerned about themselves. This was an attitude Paul had already addressed earlier in this book. (Phil. 2:3-4)

Having the mind of Christ means having a submissive mind. It is a willingness to submit to the needs of others above our own; this is the essence of humility and it embodies the character of Christ, who humbled himself to the point of death, even death on a cross! 

Do you ever find yourself being more concerned about your own interests than the interests of others? As Believers, we want to be invested where others aren’t, to be concerned about the welfare of others, to be willing to go where others might say no and to be more concerned for the interests of Christ than those of our own. 

What do you think Jesus was interested in? There is no doubt Jesus was interested in making disciples… 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, Matthew 28:19a. Are you interested in making disciples? Are you focused on elevating Jesus to others who may be far from him? What would that look like in your life? (Rom 10:13-15)

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15

For much more about how to share the gospel with lost people in your sphere of influence and the three attributes we can emulate from Epaphroditus, click here to listen to: Joy on the Journey - Part 6 - Emulating Excellent Examples.


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