- Lesson 8 in the BaptistWay Press Connect360 unit “Pure Joy” focuses on Philippians 2:19-30.
Paul knew he would not be able to go to Philippi any time soon, so he would be sending Timothy as his emissary until he himself could come. During this time, Paul was in Rome either in prison or under house arrest awaiting trial, and he was unsure of when the trial would take place or what the result of the trial would be. His hope was to send Timothy and through that visit, receive word on how the church was doing. Ever hopeful, Paul was certain when word made its way back to his prison cell in Rome, it would be positive and lift his spirit even in his depressing situation.
Paul had great confidence in young Timothy, because he had invested so much time in his life, had seen Timothy grow spiritually, and Paul had seen him grow as a servant leader as well. Paul’s words of praise were high when he said, “I have no one else like him.” Paul knows Timothy is an exceptional young man who will take on the needs of the church in the same manner Paul would. Timothy was unselfish and willing to take care of the needs of others even before his own. Finally, Paul’s highest praise comes out by calling Timothy his son who has proven himself working side-by-side with him as they spread the gospel. Paul knew the church would welcome Timothy even more if Paul looked on him as his son, as family, as one who would carry on the family business with the same passion and caring the father has done over the years.
Leading by example
Paul strongly believed in leading by example, he wanted people to see him working hard, making money and providing the funds that were needed for his ministry to move forward. Paul felt that taking money from any church in which he was ministering would change his ministry to them and somehow weaken what he did. Paul never wanted to feel he owed anyone anything. He wanted to openly and freely preach the gospel of Christ without the constraint of finances hanging over his head. However, Paul did accept financial gifts from churches if he was not physically present and ministering to them at the time, because he felt this allowed those churches to share in his ministry to others.
During his ministry Paul made sure he was not a burden on other people. He felt if he did not work and earn his own way, somehow that would take away from his ability to be able to minister to those God had sent him to preach the gospel. “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:34-35).
Compiled by Stan Granberry, marketing coordinator for BaptistWay Press.
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