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. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.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.
(Philippians 2:19-24 ESV)
Paul plans to send Timothy, his young protégé, back to Philippi (Timothy’s home town [Acts 16:1-3]) in order to get the latest news.
Paul was interested in the spiritual welfare of his dear friends in Philippi. We should be interested in the spiritual welfare of our friends and family too. We should be concerned that those who don’t know Jesus come into a relationship with Him. We should also care about how well our saved friends and family are doing in their relationship with God.
To that end, it is not unacceptable to inquire about these things. Paul could not pick up a phone or send an email to find out how the Philippians were doing. Nor could he go to Philippi himself, as he was in prison at this time. So he plans to send Timothy to get the news and bring it back to him.
Rather than talking about the latest ball game, or gossipping about another person, we should be talking to others about Jesus. Nothing is more important than someone’s relationship with Christ.
This letter will precede Timothy’s arrival in Philippi, as we’ll soon read. By the time Timothy gets there Paul expects things to be going well for the church at Philippi. He anticipates that they will have read this letter and will have made the adjustments in their lives that Paul has given them. As a result, Paul expects to “be cheered” by the report he’ll receive.
When we are doing well in our walk with Jesus it is an encouragement to others, especially those who have taught us [Philippians 2:16], as we learned a couple of days ago. By telling them he expects a good report, Paul is also challenging the Philippians to fix their problems.
Paul’s words demonstrate his deep love for the Philippians. Love is always encouraging. It shows concern for the others’ welfare. It always expects the best of others [1 Corinthians 13:7].
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