Summary: God called us to be the head and not the tail. He wants us to excel in whatever endeavors we are doing for him. But there are tests for the best.
THE TEST FOR THE FINEST
Reading: Phi 2:19-30
The Living Word Christian Church in Kuwait
Training, discipline excellence and reliability, were among the characters that categorize the finest from the standard. God called us to be the head and not the tail. He wants us to excel in whatever endeavors we are doing for him. This kind excellent spirit elevated Daniel from the other governors and princess
Dan 6:3 Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit [was] in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Jesus taught us to do everything for the glory of God. So, if we are serving the King of kings and Lord of Lord, we have to give our very best because He deserves no less than the finest of our service. Now let us follow the example of two disciples who have the best qualities of the soldier of Christ. Let us read our text today:
Php 2:19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.
Php 2:20 I have no-one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.
Php 2:21 For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
Php 2:22 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.
Php 2:23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.
Php 2:24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
Php 2:25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.
Php 2:26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.
Php 2:27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow.
Php 2:28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety.
Php 2:29 Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honour men like him,
Php 2:30 because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.
As a teacher and mentor, Apostle Paul found two among his students as qualified and fitted for the work. He describe Timothy by saying “I have no one else like him” and Epaphroditus by telling Philippians to “honor men like him”
Discipleship is character development. Its goal is stated in “Php 2:5 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:” I agree with one preacher who said: God is more concern with our character than our comfort. He is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. And He is more interested with us as a person than our possessions.
If you want to join the elite rank of God’s finest disciples, then you have to pass these four IQ test. (I - QUESTIONS)
1. THE TEST OF COMMITMENT (INVOLVEMENT?)
Timothy and Epahroditus have something in common. It is their willingness to go whenever their leader sends them to go.
Php 2:19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon…
Php 2:25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus….
We are living in a generation that hate responsibilities and ignore commitments. People don’t want to be personally involved to anyone. They can send their money as contributions sometimes. They can attend church service if they have the mood. They offer their help for sometimes. But if it involves personal commitment, they will surely find it difficult to do.
In the contrary, our Lord Jesus said that the mark of discipleship is love and we cannot love without involvement. “John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The captain of our salvation has already commissioned us to go. “Mar 16:15 He said to them, Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
Commitment is a question of involvement. You cannot be committed unless you become involve. Let us follow the example of the prophet Isaiah when he answer the call of God.
“Isa 6:8-9 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said, Here am I. Send me! He said, Go and tell this people:…”