|Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. -Philippians 3:17|
I've been asking myself, "What kind of example am I setting? What would people describe me as? What is honorable and highly esteemed in my life?" Examples shape the way we live and help shape who we are. What we honor and esteem is what we cultivate and ultimately what we become.
So in Philippians 2:19-30, we are able to look at three different ways we can be like Timothy and Epaphroditus.
He genuinely cared for people, we see this in verse 20 [I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare]. I want to genuinely care for people, to listen to them, encourage them, and bear their burdens. An example of what not to be can be found in 2 Timothy 3:2-5. Timothy has proven character and he is Christ centered.
He was a servant and put Paul's needs above his own [Philippians 2:25-30]. He knew that helping Paul was an act of worship to God [Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship, -Romans 12:1]. He risked his life for the work of Christ [vs. 30].
Because of Christ, both men were able to have a deep love for Paul and also a deep, genuine concern for the church.
At the end of the sermon, the questions were posed:
1. What do we honor?
2. Do you have Godly examples in your life that you imitate?
3. Are you a Godly example for others to imitate?