But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.Philippians 2:22(NASB)
Paul encountered many people, both within and outside the Christian Church, that excited disunity and conflict between believers, and yet one of the most important messages in his epistles was the need for Christians to live in harmony - one with the other.
In his letters, Paul sets out, with clarity, the need for children of God to be pure and blameless in this crooked and depraved generation. He exhorts us to live without complaining and arguing and to follow the example of Christ Who said and did only those things that He heard from His Father - which glorified the Father in heaven.
Despite being incarcerated in a Roman prison, Paul penned this epistle to the Philippians... demonstrating a holy joy in the Lord and mandating the need for Christians to hold fast to the faith and to keep the unity of the Spirit - in the bond of peace.
Paul was a man who encouraged believers to follow his own example of trust in God... in a life wholly consecrated to Jesus Christ - Him crucified and risen. And perhaps because of his physical absence and imminent martyrdom, Paul wanted to give examples of other godly men whose manner of life and dedication to the gospel of Christ, was worth emulating.
Timothy was one such man. Indeed, we discover that this young minister was the one person who did not abandon Paul as his gruelling life drew to a close. Timothy had a deep and loving concern for the flock of God that reflected Paul's own deep concern for them... and so Timothy, who was Paul's "son-in-the-faith," was dispatched to give encouragement and instruction to the Philippian Christians.
Like Paul, Timothy lived godly in Christ Jesus, having a desire to see believers grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. And it rejoiced Paul's heart to know that this young minister's concern for the church at Philippi, reflected his own yearning love for them.
And so, in his covering statement introducing Timothy to the Philippians, Paul outlines his proven character and dedication to the gospel of God by writing, "you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel, like a child serving his father."
What a joy Timothy must have been to the apostle Paul. He had learned the holy Scriptures from childhood and was saved by grace through faith - through the ministry of Paul. Timothy was converted to Christ in the town of Lystra during Paul's first missionary journey, and he briefly accompanied him on both his second and third journeys.
Timothy was also entrusted to minster to the believers in the city of Ephesus... and here in Philippi, it was this "son-in-the-faith," who was chosen by Paul to help establish the believers there.
There is much to learn from this young, unassuming man. His dedication to the Lord is evident throughout the New Testament and yet... even he had to overcome many difficulties that confronted the early Church, in the same way that we also have to overcome difficulties in Christendom in our times.
Praise God, that His grace was not only sufficient for Paul and Timothy - but His grace continues to be sufficient for you and for me and for all who are seeking to live godly in Christ Jesus... as we seek to walk in Spirit and truth and live with one another in the bond of peace.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing insights that we can glean from the epistles of Paul and from those that accompanied him on his various missionary journeys. Thank You for dedicated ministers like Timothy, who faithfully taught the Scriptures and whose lives have become an example of godly living to us all. Help me to live my life in a way that honours Your name, and use me, I pray, to be an instrument of encouragement and joy to others - looking to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.