My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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I Have No One Like Him
The ruins of Philippi
Phil. 2:19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. 20 I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But Timothy’s worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.
It’s amazing that amongst those who had served with Paul, at the moment of this writing, there were not many options to send to Philippi. It’s Timothy who can be trusted because he has “proven character” and a genuine interest in the people. He has not been seeking his own safety, pleasure or profit while in ministry. Instead, as John Wesley says, he is “willing naked to follow a naked Master.” There is no one like Timothy, and therefore Paul is sending him to the Philippian church.
All who call themselves by the name “Christian” should, from time to time, create space for personal reflection. It’s easy to be carried away by, what I would call, “religion creep.” That is, our “religiosity” can sometimes get in the way of our pure, “naked” relationship with Jesus Christ. There is always the work of the church, which is good and healthy, but should never take over the place of knowing Christ in our lives. Practicing religiosity, judging others, comparing ourselves to others, thinking that we are better than others, etc.can take the place of a deep relationship with our Lord. In reality these becomes barriers to a deeper walk with Christ.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God could point to us, his disciples, and say, “I have no one like him/her?” I think that’s the goal that is set before us. Timothy becomes a role model, a person whom we ought to emulate. He had proven character because he had survived both good times and trials in ministry, and remained solidly faithful. Therefore, we are challenged to persevere in our faith, doing all that we can to become Christlike disciples.
Timothy reflected the image of Christ in all that he did. That’s why Paul could say that there was “no one like him.” Throughout history there are giants in the faith who are role models for us. I believe that in every generation there are those to whom we can point and say, “there is no one like him/her.” I’m not so sure that that is supposed to be an extraordinary experience, or whether, by the power of the Holy Spirit this is to become commonplace in the life of the believer. Motivations checked, stripped of all that might hinder, we follow the Messiah with genuine interest and proven character. It is then that the Father can say, “I have no one like him/her.”
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Ex. 33:4 ¶ When the people heard these harsh words, they mourned, and no one put on ornaments. Ex. 33:5 For the LORD had said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you. So now take off your ornaments, and I will decide what to do to you.’” Ex. 33:6 Therefore the Israelites stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.
The people had sinned before God by making and worshiping the golden calf! They had taken their golden jewelry — the earrings and other items they had gotten from the Egyptians and used them to create an idol. Now, in an act of humility and repentance they were to take off all of their jewelry and ornaments. It was a time of mourning over their sin and it included intentional action on the part of the Israelites. Application:
We don’t do all that well with humility and repentance! It seems that we live in a time when we try to carry on…
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…