Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Commending Discipleship: Part Two

Devotion: Philippians 2:20-22

The Apostle Paul was imprisoned as he wrote to the Philippian church. He was, therefore, unable to go and be with the Philippians and help them to work through a distraction to their ministry (more on that in 4:2). Now he had invested in Timothy as a disciple, treating him like a son in raising him up in the way of Christ Jesus. As a son to Paul, Timothy displayed the same kind of selfless love and concern for others that the Apostle himself demonstrated on numerous occasions. As a result, when the Apostle could not go to Philippi, he could send his proxy, his spiritual-son and his protege, Timothy. As the Apostle puts it:
"For I have no one like [Timothy], who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know Timothy's proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel." -Philippians 2:20-22 ESV
The sad truth is that most people serve only their own interests. The self comes before all others and looking out for the self trumps all other calls. People even go so far as rejecting the idea that self-serving motivations are wrong. The remedy to this, please note, is not to seek the interests of the other (though that is tempting). The solution to self-serving is not other-serving, or at least not generally so. The solution is to be Christ-centered and to seek his interests above one's own.
We are blessed to be able to serve Christ by serving one another. When the temptation to turn inward comes (and it will come), remember that it is Christ Jesus himself who turned out to serve us.
So how can we serve Christ today? A few thoughts:
  • Is there a young person you can invest in as a disciple like Paul did with Timothy? 
  • Are there people in your neighborhood, workplace or life in general who need help and have no one to help them? Wood that needs chopping? Walkways that need shoveling? An ear to listen? A moment of friendship in a self-centered world?
  • Who needs Jesus in your life? Pray and ask for God to bring someone to mind and then take the radical step of sharing the Gospel and why it matters.

News for You:

  • Christmas Eve service will be at 7 p.m. Bring a friend and help them connect with Jesus.
  • Christmas Day will see our regular service at 10 a.m.

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