Who’s in your corner? | Gig Harbor | Chapel Hill Online
Who do you have rooting for you? It’s important in our faith journey to have people we can talk to and rely on when times get tough. Friends that will encourage us to get back out there, and sometimes give us a little push when we need it. Join Pastor Mark Toone as he tells us about the people Paul had in his corner, and how we can used that example to set ourselves up for success.
Who do you have in your corner? Read Philippians 2:19-30 and discover who Paul had in his corner.
In this passage, Paul has two kinds of friendships – the son and the brother. How was Timothy like a son to Paul? How was Epaphroditus like a brother?
How is God calling you to launch disciple-makers? Who is it that you need to invest deeper in?
A couple weeks ago I was hit by an infection that landed me in the ER. ACTUALLY… it was CYNDI who landed me in the ER. Despite my stubbornness, she finally said, “We’re going to the hospital! Get in the car.” During my recovery, I came to realize that my Cyndi is a combination of Florence Nightingale…and George Patton. Sweet…and fearsome…all in wrapped up in one.
Being sick wasn’t fun. Being reminded of the wonderful woman in my corner… THAT was a gift. Today, we meet a couple of the guys in Paul’s corner. Remember, he’s in prison on trial for his life. He’s trying to keep his chin up; to remain joyful. But it’s not easy! And if your joy is on empty right now…it might help to remember who’s in YOUR corner. Phil 2:19 ff.
I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare….But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel. I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
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, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill.
I grew up in the era of Muhammad Ali who once declared, “I AM the greatest!” He floated around the ring, more a dancer than fighter at times. He juked. Faked. Taunted. And then would unleash a flurry of punches. Maybe he was the greatest.
But even The Greatest took hits. And in those fights when Ali took more than he gave, he retreated to the care of his lifelong corner man: Angelo Dundee. PIC Dundee would splash water on him, rub his shoulders, fix his cuts, rouse him…boost his spirits and send him back out to fight again. Angelo never threw a punch… but Muhammad Ali wouldn’t have been the champion he was without Dundee in his corner.
Paul was a champion. Courageous, tough. He could take punches, stones, floggings … and come back for more. But he didn’t do it alone. He had people in HIS corner…men and women who loved him, cared for him, protected him. We all need people in our corner. Who are yours? Do you have anyone? Today, we meet two of Paul’s corner-men: Timothy and Epaphroditus; the “son” and the “brother.”
Paul met Timothy in the city of Lystra. He was the son of a mixed marriage. His mother, Lydia, was a believer; his father, an unbeliever. We don’t know what Paul saw in Timothy….but he saw something! Talent. Heart. Faithfulness. Something special. Timothy also had challenges. He was young; he was insecure; he lacked confidence. He even had stomach problems…maybe an ulcer caused by stress.
But Paul loved Timothy; he believed in him! He trusted him! He put him on his team. And he became his champion. Timothy is the only individual in scripture to whom Paul sent TWO letters of coaching and encouragement: “Don’t let anyone despise you for your youth,” Paul wrote. “Don’t neglect your spiritual gifts. Preach the word! Fight the good fight of faith.” “And,” Paul added, “drink a little wine; it will make your tummy feel better!” These are the words of a coach.
In our text, Paul writes of Timothy in glowing terms. “…I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare…. you know Timothy’s proven worth, how AS A SON with a father he has served with me in the gospel.” Do you hear the tenderness? Timothy’s no longer a partner in ministry. He’s like a SON to Paul. It says something about Paul’s love for his Sweetheart church that he would sacrifice Timothy’s companionship in order to provide leadership to the Philippians in Paul’s absence.
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