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Showing posts from December, 2018

Philippians 3:18: Enemies of the Cross of Christ

Philippians 3:18 [18] For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ. (ESV) Paul was passionate about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He literally gave his life defending it. He was gravely concerned that those who had heard the message of the Gospel stay as strong as he was in defending it's truth. In this chapter he has been warning the believers in Philippi about the Judaizers whose false teaching was a Gospel of works, not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is by grace. Paul reminds the Philippians that he his warning is not a new one. He has told them often, and even now with tears he warns them of these enemies of the cross of Christ. I want to actually focus on that last phrase because it is very significant. Those who preach a Gospel of works are not described as "members in good standing," "deacons," or "faithful givers." They are called enemies of the cross of Christ. I ca

Philippians 3:17: Brothers, Join In Imitating Me

Philippians 3:17 [17] Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us. (ESV) Are you the kind of person that others should imitate? As you consider your lifestyle would others look at you and say, "Now, that's what a Christian should look like."? Maybe you think that because you are not perfect it does not matter whether or not you are a good example for others to follow. While it is true that you are not perfect, there is a need for you to be an example for others as you follow those who are an even better example than yourself. Paul instructs the believers at Philippi to imitate him. We often think of the Apostle Paul as a great teacher. We have his many epistles in the New Testament and gain much of our doctrinal instruction from Paul's writing that was inspired by the Holy Spirit himself. However, the most effective teaching is modeled, not written. Paul had modeled for the believers in Philippi

Philippians 3:16: Only Let us Hold True To What We Have Attained

Philippians 3:16 [16] Only let us hold true to what we have attained. (ESV) There is something about truth. It is unchanging. Our perceptions change. Our opinions change. Truth does not change. It is one of the defining characteristics of truth that it remains unchanged. In our current world there is a popular thought that you can have your truth and I can have my truth. That is an impossibility. Truth is universal. It is objective. It is actual. Paul was a defender of the truth. He had taught the truth as revealed to him in Jesus Christ to the church at Philippi. They responded to the truth. Their lives had been changed and forever transformed. They accepted a salvation that is by grace, the free gift of God, and not by works of the Law.  As is often the case with truth it is challenged. In the case of the church at Philippi God's truth was challenged by the Judaizers. Judaizers were Jews who claimed that to truly be right with God the Old Testament Law had to still be p

Philippians 3:15: Let Those Of Us Who Are Mature Think This Way

Philippians 3:15 [15] Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (ESV) How mature are you? When we are children we are apt to be scolded for being immature. In fact, the general understanding is that as we get older we are to become more mature. What seems so out of place for us is when we see grown adults acting like children. That kind of immaturity is not only out of place, but at times offensive. So, if it is expected of us to mature as we age in our physical bodies we should also not be surprised that in our spiritual condition we ought to mature. The longer we know Christ the more spiritually mature we ought to act. I can attest to the fact that one of the most offensive and destructive forces in our churches is Christians who have known the Lord a long time, yet demonstrate gross immaturity. In the previous verses the Apostle Paul was speaking of our pursuit of perfect righteousness. He liken

Philippians 3:14: I Press On Toward The Goal

Philippians 3:14 [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (ESV) I am not very good at running. I have often said that if you see me running there is likely a bear behind me and you should start running also! I am not sure how good of a runner the Apostle Paul was, but he often used the illustration of running a race to depict the process of our sanctification. This is a race that we must win. In the previous verse Paul discussed the importance of forgetting what lies behind and pressing on toward what lays ahead. If we are to win a race the direction is forward, not backward. It is the enemy who will bring up all of your past failings. It has been said that when the Devil reminds you of your past you should remind him of his future. Paul tells us to press on toward the goal. Leave the distractions behind you. We have a goal in mind. Our goal is ultimate perfect righteousness. In this life, we are still running toward that goal.

Philippians 3:13: Forgetting What Lies Behind And Straining Forward

Philippians 3:13 [13] Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, (ESV) The Apostle Paul is a hero of mine. I am fairly certain that we all have particular Bible characters that we are drawn to. Their life inspires us. Perhaps, for you it is the courage of a young David and his defeat of the giant Goliath. Maybe you are drawn to the faithfulness of Daniel who would rather be fed to lions than defy his God. For me, it is Paul. Like many of the heroes in the pages of Scripture they are flawed characters. David, while being the apple of God's eye, also had a problem with lust and murder. Peter, who was the leader of the Church at Jerusalem, had denied Jesus in his darkest hour. How about the Apostle Paul? The truth is, he had his flaws. He describes them in his letter to Timothy: 1 Timothy 1:13 [13] though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But

Philippians 3:12: Not That I Have Already Obtained This Or Am Already Perfect

Philippians 3:12 [12] Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (ESV) We know that as a believer in Jesus Christ there are parts of our lives that are pleasing to him and parts of our lives that need some work. The Apostle Paul was no different. Even though he had been used by God to start churches all over the known world, had performed miracles in Jesus' name, and had been used to bring thousands of people to faith, he was far from perfect. In this effort to obtain perfection Paul knew that he was a work in progress. God is not content to leave us in the state he found us. He gives us a new heart, a new spirit, a new focus. We pursue Christ with all that we have. As the Holy Spirit enables and empowers us we are able to become more and more like him and we gain victory in those areas where we are less than perfect. This progression in our spiritual lives whereby we are becomin

Philippians 3:11: That By Any Means Possible

Philippians 3:11 [11] that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. (ESV) When my wife was a little girl she loved watching the Donny and Marie show. She wore a Marie Osmond costume for Halloween. She had her hair done to look like Marie Osmond. When you have a hero you want to be just like them. Imitation is a high form of flattery. In a much grander scale, the Apostle Paul wanted to be like his Savior, Jesus Christ. For the Apostle Paul, Jesus was more than a theological truth. Jesus was not even just the means by which he was saved from his sins. Jesus was his life! He wanted to know him. He wanted to be like him. The things that Jesus was passionate about were the things that Paul wanted to be passionate about. Jesus defied death and rose from the dead. Paul desires to do the same thing. Here in this verse Paul says that by any means possible he desires to attain the resurrection from the dead. Just like his Savior. Paul knows that it is very lik

Philippians 3:10: That I May Know Him

Philippians 3:10 [10] that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (ESV) There are many people who fill church pews every Sunday who have no concept of what the Apostle Paul is saying in this verse. They claim to know Jesus, but the way that they live their lives proves that they are not living to know Jesus. They are going to church to show to those around them that they are important. They are not identifying with who Jesus really is. The Apostle Paul says that he wants to know Jesus, and then he follows that statement up with what knowing Jesus truly means. As you read the words that Paul uses ask yourself if you would like to know Jesus as Paul describes Him. Do you want to identify with Jesus' resurrection power, sharing his sufferings, and becoming like him in his death? Many people love the idea of identifying with Christ's resurrection power. We sing about God's power. We post facebook

Philippians 3:9: Not Having A Righteousness Of My Own

Philippians 3:9 [9] and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— (ESV) There is something about everyone of us that wants to be right with God. Oh, I know, there are people who claim to be atheists. They angrily demand that there is no God and that they can prove it. Yet, the reality is God's existence is revealed to all mankind by His Creation. The world around us proves to everyone, even so-called atheists that God exists. The nagging reality of God's existence leads us to desire to be right with that God. If we ignore God's existence we will miserable because we know we are not right. So, what does mankind do? We try to be good enough for this "God" who must exist. In every generation of mankind we find archaeological evidence of man worshiping some kind of God. Paul was a man who spent his whole life pursuing God. He a

Philippians 3:8: The Surpassing Worth Of Knowing Christ Jesus

Philippians 3:8 [8] Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ (ESV) Our nature is prideful. We love to look at ourselves and what we have accomplished and give ourselves credit. Even those who have recognized the need to be saved from their sin by receiving the free gift of God's grace in Jesus Christ are prone to fall back into a mindset where we consider ourselves righteous based what we have done. It is a constant battle with pride. Paul takes a look at all that he has done and instead of patting himself on the back he says, "I count it all loss." Why? Because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus. There is a principle here for us to consider. If we truly understood the value of knowing Christ Jesus we would not be fixated on our pathetic efforts at being righteous. Paul takes it a s

Philippians 3:7: But Whatever Gain I Had, I Counted As Loss

Philippians 3:7 [7] But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. (ESV) I hate Accounting. I had two years of Accounting in High School. I had to take it twice in College. All those numbers in all those columns . . . I am thankful that God called me to preach. I now call an accountant when I need help with numbers. The Apostle Paul knew a bit about accounting and uses that kind of terminology when he describes his relationship with God before and after Christ. For years of Paul's life he was under the impression that he was adding to his profit column in the books of life. His tallies in the books looked something like this: + Circumcised + Israelite + Tribe of Benjamin + Pharisee + Outward keeping of the Law + Persecuting the Church RIGHTEOUSNESS Paul confesses in today's verse that his accounting abilities were worse than mine! All of those things that he placed in the gain column. What happened? He met Christ! Jesus came and revealed to

Philippians 3:6: As To Zeal, A Persecutor of the Church

Philippians 3:6 [6] as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. (ESV) This verse gives us great insight into the nature of the Apostle Paul. He is trying to expose the hypocrisy of the Judaizers who had caused confusion in the church at Philippi. They were insisting on a righteousness that comes from following the Old Testament Law. Paul, who preached a righteousness by grace through faith, shows that he was even more of a proponent of following the Law, but he was lost. To the Jews zeal was a most admirable spiritual quality. To be zealous for the Lord's Law would mean to love what the Lord loves and to hate what the Lord hates. The Apostle Paul, before his encounter with Christ, thought that Christians were a heretical sect that despised God's Law. Paul's zeal caused him to persecute the church. He was zealous, but wrong. The Judaizers had a self-righteous arrogance when it came to their observance of the Law, yet Paul s

Philippians 3:5: Circumcised On The Eighth Day

Philippians 3:5 [5] circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; (ESV) If you were to ask people on the street why they believe God should allow them into heaven when they die, you will probably get a majority of people listing for you all kinds of "good deeds" they have done that somehow merit eternal life. They may cite money they have given to feed the poor, time spent with underprivileged kids, or even church attendance. Paul is dealing with people who believe that because of their Jewish heritage they have an in with God and are deserving of eternal life. These Jews have a big problem with Gentile Christians who claim to have eternal life simply by believing in Jesus Christ while not embracing all of the rites and rituals of the Jewish faith. Paul now says to the Jews, "You think you are righteous based on your Jewish background? If it was about that I would be in way before

Philippians 3:4: I Myself Have Reason For Confidence In The Flesh

Philippians 3:4 [4] though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: (ESV) The church at Philippi, like many churches at that time, had been infiltrated with Judaizers. These were self-righteous Jews who demanded that certain rituals and ceremonies must be observed by all who claimed to be saved. This was contrary to the teaching of the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John, and in fact, contrary to Scripture. We can call these Jews "Judaizers" because they were trying to make Christianity more Jewish. I prefer to call them party poopers because they were trying to destroy the freedom that we have in Christ. I would love to say that modern day Christianity is devoid of such party poopers, but that would be false. Paul's way of dealing with these false teaching party poopers is to do a little comparison of his own qualifications compared to theirs. He says, "You think you

Philippians 3:3: For We Are The Circumcision

Philippians 3:3 [3] For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— (ESV) If someone were to ask you to describe your Christianity in one word what would you choose?  Forgiven? Saved? Redeemed?  How about Circumcision? Paul here says that we are the circumcision. How does that make you feel? Before you go running out to tell all your friends that we are the circumcision we should probably talk about what it means. Circumcision was commanded by God for all Jewish males on the eighth day as a means of setting apart that child to belong to the community of faith. Now that Jesus had fulfilled the Law and provided for forgiveness of all who placed faith in him there was no longer a need for circumcision of a physical nature. The Judaizers who had caused confusion and harm at Philippi looked down their spiritual noses at the Christian Gentiles because they were not physically circumcised. Paul is making the

Philippians 3:2: Look Out For The Dogs

Philippians 3:2 [2] Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. (ESV) The entire letter to the Philippians has a continual theme. Joy. Joy is only found in the Lord. Even though Paul is writing this letter from a prison cell, he remains joyful because joy is something that is constant in the Lord regardless of our circumstances. In the previous verse Paul reminds the Philippians again to "rejoice in the Lord." This admonition to rejoice is now followed with a warning. Paul says, "Look out!" There are joy-killers on the loose. They want to rob you of your joy and place unnecessary burdens on you and destroy the freedom you have in Christ, who is your joy. Isn't it always the case that where someone is experiencing joy someone else wants to be the party pooper. Paul uses three descriptions of these joy-killers. Each description is talking about the same group of party poopers. Who are they? Judaizers. Jud

Philippians 3:1: Rejoice in the Lord

Philippians 3:1 [1] Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. (ESV) Rejoice. In the Lord. This is a them throughout Paul's entire epistle to the church at Philippi. He takes a moment here to say it again. Rejoice. He adds the words "in the Lord." As we have previously considered, joy is a state that we choose to live in, that is not based on circumstances. This stands firmly against "happiness" which is circumstantial and fleeting. I believe that there is a deep part of us that longs for joy, yet many settle for chasing moments of happiness. A night of drinking provides temporal happiness, but the reality of life comes harshly back in the morning. A vacation, an expensive vacation, or even a nice home are all temporal examples of happiness. None of these things satisfy our deepest longings. Paul not only says that we should pursue joy. He tells us exactly where we will find it; i

Philippians 2:30: He Nearly Died For the Work of Christ

Philippians 2:30 [30] for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. (ESV) When God established his church he knew that she would be made up of many different and valuable parts. No one person can do all the work of ministry that needs to happen in the church. The Apostle Paul did great things. But he was only one person. He needed help. Here he was in prison, unable to travel to areas where the Gospel was needed. The Church at Philippi, which was started by the ministry of the Apostle Paul, wanted to be a help to Paul, yet they couldn't move their whole church from Philippi to Rome where Paul was imprisoned. So, they sent Epaphroditus. Epaphroditus did what he could to be the help that Philippi wanted to provide. Epaphroditus was so committed to the work of the Gospel that he was willing to risk his life. We do not know exactly what kind of illness he had (verse 27), but we know that there was no lack in hi

Philippians 2:29: Receive Him In The Lord With All Joy

Philippians 2:29 [29] So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, (ESV) Epaphroditus was going home to Philippi. He had left some time before and went to Rome. He was sent to the prison cell of the Apostle Paul to bring a financial gift from the Philippian believers. It was a much needed gift as Paul was completely dependent on others to provide for him while in prison. While in Rome Epaphroditus had become gravely ill, but was now healthy and coming home. Epaphroditus would surely be carrying this letter to the church at Philippi with him. As the leaders of the church would read this very meaningful epistle from Paul they come to Paul's instruction concerning their friend Epaphroditus. They are instructed to receive him with joy and honor him. I am sure that they would have been joyful to see their friend, but I find the instruction to honor him significant. I feel that sometimes the church is generally hesitant to honor people. There is a mentality that

Philippians 2:28: I Am The More Eager To Send Him (Epaphroditus)

Philippians 2:28 [28] I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. (ESV) A few years ago, I was getting ready to start a worship service when a man walked into the church whom I had not seen in almost twenty years. He was one of my closest friends in college. I was beyond thrilled to see him. Friendship is like that. Paul is eager to send Epaphroditus so that they may rejoice. He wants them to be thrilled to see him. Paul says that the other benefit of sending Epaphroditus is that he will have less anxiety. It is interesting to see this vulnerable side of the Apostle Paul. We tend to idolize some of our biblical heroes. Paul is one of my heroes. Yet, here we see him as a man who is so stressed about the Philippians worrying over Epaphroditus that he is anxious over it. The fact is, Paul had a great burden for all the people in the churches. Consider what he says in 2 Corinthians 11:2: 2 Corinthians 11:

Philippians 2:27: Indeed He Was Ill, Near To Death

Philippians 2:27 [27] Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. (ESV) Perhaps you are familiar with the quote from the movie Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility." I believe that with the Apostle Paul one could say about his life "With great spiritual influence comes great suffering." Like his Savior, Paul was well acquainted with grief. Epaphroditus, who was sent from Philippi to be a blessing to Paul became sick and nearly died. Paul recognizes that if Epaphroditus had died it would have been "sorrow upon sorrow." I am thankful that the Lord knows what we are going through and he sovereignly chooses to give us more than we can handle, yet not more than he can help us to handle. We see in this verse Paul recognizing the mercy of God. If God had taken Epaphroditus home to heaven Paul would have survived. God was capable of providing for h

Philippians 2:26: For He Has Been Longing For All Of You

Philippians 2:26 [26] for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. (ESV) The body of Christ is an amazing thing. The love and affection that happen between the members of the body are a reflection of the great love that our Savior has for us. Before the world was ever created the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit had beautiful fellowship together. Perfect love and harmony was theirs. This is supposed to be what we experience with one another. To truly love one another in a proper way means to care for another. As Paul told the church at Corinth, "If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together" (1 Corinthians 12:26). This kind of genuine concern, where we are sensitive to the needs of others, and even feel the same feelings of our brother or sister in Christ is what we would define as empathy. EMPATHY: - The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicari

Philippians 2:25: I Have Thought it Necessary To Send To You Epaphroditus

Philippians 2:25 [25] I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, (ESV) When you read this verse the first thing that comes to mind is, who is Epaphroditus? That is a very good question. Outside of this book of Philippians we do not hear of him. Epaphroditus would have been a common name for a fellow Philippian. His name meant "favorite of Aphrodite." Aphrodite was the goddess of love in Greek mythology. Epaphroditus was a believer from Philippi. Just as Paul had been blessed to have Timothy in Rome supporting him, he also had Epaphroditus. The Philippian believers had sent him to Paul to be a messenger for them, bringing primarily financial gifts to Paul so that he could be cared for in his prison cell in Rome. At the end of this letter to Philippi we find out about the gift that Epaphroditus brought to Paul: Philippians 4:18 [18] I have received full payment,

Philippians 2:24: I Trust in the Lord That Shortly I Myself Will Come Also

Philippians 2:24 [24] and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also. (ESV) I truly cannot imagine how it would feel to be in a prison cell. I can imagine that every moment of that time I would be thinking about being set free. The Apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome. Truth be told, he had a much better attitude than I would have. In this verse he says that he "trusts in the Lord" that he will shortly come to see the church at Philippi. I think the words "in the Lord" are key here. Paul does not know the future. But he is trusting in the Lord. In fact, the Apostle Paul is well aware that even if he dies in the prison cell, he will end up eternally free in Heaven. Paul  chooses to experience the freedom that comes from knowing God, whether or not he is free in this life. Let's go back to some earlier verses in Philippians: Philippians 1:12–13 [12] I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the

Philippians 2:23: I Hope Therefore To Send Him

Philippians 2:23 [23] I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, (ESV) The Apostle Paul wanted to send Timothy to the church at Philippi. He was his closest friend. He was like a son to him. He was a great encouragement. He was the best person Paul could have sent to continue the ministry of Paul himself to the church at Philippi. Timothy was like that person who is so close to another person that they can practically finish the other person's sentences. Paul's hesitation to send him is that he is waiting to see how things are going to go for himself in regards to being potentially released from prison. I love this picture of Paul. He is a real guy in a very difficult situation. The financial and physical support of prisoners came from any friends or family that the prisoner had. If you had no friends, finances or family, you would likely die in prison. Paul truly wanted to go with Timothy to Philippi. Yet, he is restrained by his curre

Philippians 2:22: But You Know Timothy's Proven Worth

Philippians 2:22 [22] But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. (ESV) There is no greater compliment that Paul could have given Timothy than what we find here in this verse. He is as a son with a father. The Father and Son relationship is the first and most important relationship ever established. What do we see as we look back through all of eternity: God the Father and God the Son. One of the greatest sacrifices that Jesus made when he came to Earth is that he could no longer enjoy the sweet fellowship with his father. Yet, we have Jesus telling us that he did what he saw the father going. He did what the father told him to do. He demonstrated that perfect relationship of father and son while on this earth. The Apostle Paul had mentored Timothy and spent so much time with him that Paul viewed him like he was his own son. Paul knew that he could expect Timothy to go to Philippi and bring the very ministry that Pa

Philippians 2:21: For They All Seek Their Own Interests

Philippians 2:21 [21] For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. (ESV) In the last few verses the Apostle Paul has elaborated on how faithful a servant Timothy was. He is going to send him to the church at Philippi to be an encouragement to the people there. Timothy was a young man whom Paul had mentored. Timothy had the same passion for the work of the Gospel that Paul had. Sadly, not everyone who knew Paul acted like Timothy. Paul says that there were others who, instead of being a help to him in his time of persecution and imprisonment, were seeking their own interests. They might be able to help if there was something in it for them. But Paul did not make them look good. After all, what if your ministry was to help someone who was in a prison cell? Not good for the resume, I suppose. I would like to say that the ones whom Paul is referring to are non-believers. I would like to say that these self-seekers had nothing to do with the Church. I would ve

Philippians 2:20: For I Have No One Like Him

Philippians 2:20 [20] For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. (ESV) How many people in your life would you describe as having genuine concern for other people's welfare? I would love to say that all people who claim the name of Christ would fit that description, but look at what Paul says, "I have no one like him." In other words, he was the exception not the rule. His love for others was remarkable. Timothy had spent much time with the Apostle Paul. The more that we spend with someone the more we pick up the same kind of traits and behaviors. Thankfully, in this situation, Timothy picked up Paul's traits of love and concern for the church. Paul had planted churches all over the Roman Empire, and he had great concern for all of them. In the Apostle Paul's second letter to the church at Corinth he describes the concern he has for all the churches: 2 Corinthians 11:28–29 [28] And, apart from other things, there is t

Philippians 2:19: I Hope In The Lord Jesus To Send Timothy

Philippians 2:19 [19] I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. (ESV) I am sure that you remember that Timothy was mentioned in the very first verse of Philippians. Paul was writing while imprisoned in Rome. Timothy was with him, not as a fellow prisoner, but as Paul's support. Any sort of help that Paul could have needed including medical care, food, and anything else would have been provided by Timothy. Timothy was a tremendous blessing to Paul. So, why would Paul want to send Timothy to Philippi? Paul cares about their spiritual well-being. He wants Timothy to be there in Philippi as a godly example of all the things that Paul talked about in his letter. Timothy was referred to by Paul as his "son in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2)." Paul had mentored Timothy spiritually and knew that he could trust him to carry out anything that was asked of him. What kind of a leader are you? Do you focus on having all that

Philippians 2:18: Likewise You Also Should Be Glad And Rejoice With Me

Philippians 2:18 [18] Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. (ESV) We are programmed to respond to people who are hurting. Our first response is one of pity. In fact, if someone says, "My loved one just passed away we respond with, "I'm sorry." I am not trying to minimize any kind of loss or negative circumstance but I want you to think for a moment about the way in which we respond to others when we hear that their situation is less than perfect. Pity. The Apostle Paul is writing this letter from a Roman prison. He has to rely on the kindness and support of others or he will rot to death in his cell. The Roman Empire was not going to provide three square meals for the Apostle. He was severely beaten and imprisoned when he was in Philippi. And his life has been marked by all kinds of distress. So, does Paul expect pity from the Philippians? Paul says, "You also should be glad and rejoice with me." That becomes a more powerful statem