We are almost halfway through Philippians with one final section of chapter two to go. At first read, after the glorious description of Christ’s humble condescension and sacrificial redeeming love (2:1-11) and then the strong encouragement to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (2:13-18), what comes next might seem quite a bit less consequential – just some details about the future travel plans of Timothy and Epaphroditus and Paul? It goes from theology to an itinerary.
If you were going to choose one section of Philippians to memorize, 2:19-30 would probably not be your first choice. But not so fast. There’s more going on here than we might realize at first. What Paul commends in Timothy and Epaphroditus and what he demonstrates in his own decisions to send each of them are reflections of the very mindset and manner of living he is calling the Philippian church to.
- What does “standing firm in one Spirit” and “striving side-by-side for the faith of the gospel” look like?
- What does it look like to humbly “count others as more significant than yourselves”?
- What does it look like to gladly “be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering” of the faith of others, to promote their “progress and joy in the faith”?
At the ground level, it looks a lot like Timothy and Epaphroditus and Paul, who in turn, look a lot like Jesus.
Kenny Clark will be preaching this Sunday and Walt Harrah will be leading us in sung worship. Would you pray for each as they prepare? And would you read the passage for Sunday (2:19-30) ahead of time and pray for our church?
Pray that our Grace family would reflect Jesus in the same ways we see modeled for us in this passage. Pray that God would be hard at work on our wills, to transform our natural entitled self-centeredness into supernatural humble selflessness. Pray that we would become even more deeply grateful for Jesus, who chose the path of exaltation by way of humility to lead us from death to life. Pray that God would help us to see the glory of following Him in the same path with glad hearts.
Thank you, Grace. See you Sunday. Come hungry!