Summary: Do your fellow saints know you for your kindness? Today we will study a friend that was remembered by the Apostle Paul as a great encourager and examine the characteristics that enable us to bless one another.
There was a time in our lives when our daughter was hospitalized for extended periods of time. We learned how friends can provide much needed encouragement during such times. One such friend was Dan Bubar. At the time, Dan was single and considering serving the Lord as a missionary to Hungary. Dan was one of those encouraging visitors who stopped in to see us, bringing a meal or a milkshake and simply talking with us and praying for us. We remember those visits from Dan, some 25 years ago. Sadly, Dan was killed in a traffic accident a number of years ago while serving as a missionary in Hungary, but we will always remember Dan as the friend who encouraged us in our time of need.
Do your fellow saints know you for your kindness? Today we will study a friend that was remembered by the Apostle Paul as a great encourager. One of Paul’s statements concerning Timothy is found in Philippians 2:19–24 "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. " "I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. " "For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. " "But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. " "I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. " "And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon."
As we study this passage, we will examine the characteristics that enable us to bless one another and specific ways that we can do this here at FBC through our Bible Life Groups.
I. A Selfless Saint Brings Cheer. Phil 2:19
Paul needed some CHEER. He was in prison under house arrest in Rome. Unable to travel to visit his friends at the church in Philippi, Paul turns to TIMOTHY to go to Philippi and return with a report that he believed would bring him cheer.
Timothy was WITH PAUL in prison.
Colossians 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,"
Philemon 1 "Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker,"
Philippians 1:1 "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons:"
This emphasis on PRISON/ CHAINS in found throughout the book of Philippians:
Philippians 1:7 "It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me."
Philippians 1:13 "As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ."
Philippians 2:17 "But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you."
Philippians 4:22 "All the saints send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household."
Notice the sequence of events that bring us to this point in Paul’s ministry:
1. Paul and Timothy travel to EPHESUS. 1 Timothy 1:3 "As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer"
2. Paul summoned Timothy BACK when he was arrested again. 2 Timothy 1:4 "Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy." 2 Timothy 4:9 "Do your best to come to me quickly,"
Timothy’s reputation: He ENCOURAGED Paul. “That I also may be cheered when I receive news about you” (Phil 2:19)
The word CHEEDED is the Greek word εὐψυχέω (eupsucheō). The English equivalent of this word is the word “psyched!” Paul was “psyched” with the thought of hearing good news about the Philippians from his friend Timothy!
APPLICATION: a good friend can bring CHEER
To illustrate the theme of encouragement, have you ever wondered why GEESE HONK?
We know that geese fly in a “V” formation reducing wind drag. The lead bird encounters more wind resistance, allowing the trailing birds to cut through the air with less expended energy, thus extending the distance that the entire flock can fly. The geese take turns in the lead, retiring to the rear to recover and one by one, the process continues. It’s a great picture of teamwork and efficiency.
SOME BELIEVE that the HONKING of the geese in flight is the way that the trailing geese encourage the lead goos to KEEP GOING!!! It’s a great picture of encouragement! However, some Christians have BROKEN HONKERS!