Temple Baptist Church - 7-25-2012
A. In the latter half of this chapter, Paul mentions two men and their service to both him and the ministry. Paul is in prison and cannot do all that needs to be done for the churches that he has planted so he now has to rely heavily upon others to get the work done.
B. There comes a time in the life of every man of God when he is no longer able to do all that needs to be done. I am not nearly at that stage as this point but I do know that I am a lot older and less able to go than when I came here over 25 years ago. I am still mentally sharp and much better equipped to pastor than I was in those days but physically am slowing down rapidly.
C. As a young man, I had more zeal than knowledge but the Lord was merciful and gracious in my ignorance. He knew my heart and protected our church from some situations that I did not quickly respond to. I am not good at it now but, with the Apostle Paul, can say, “For I have learned.” I try not to repeat the same mistakes on a regular basis.
D. Paul realizes the needs of his church at Philippi needs leadership and, thank the Lord, has the means to provide for it even while in prison. He had two young men of different calibers who loved the Lord and were willing to “step up to the plate” when the old apostle had to to sit in the “dugout!”
E. Timothy is the first mentioned so I will deal with him first. Timothy would one day be the pastor of the church at Ephesus and some of the qualities of a man of God were already apparent in the early stages of his life. The name Timothy means “Dear to God.”
1. The importance of Timothy’s Home.
a. Timothy had a good family - 2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. (Nothing is said about Timothy’s father, who was a Greek, but we find here the importance of a godly mother and grandmother. Upbringing is vital to our children and grandchildren. Good examples are imperative!)
b. Timothy had a good home church - 2 Timothy 3:14-15 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; (15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (No doubt from these verses that Timothy was brought up under good men of God and was possibly won to the Lord under Paul’s preaching and teaching as he is called “my own son in the faith” by Paul in 1 Timothy 1:2.)
2. The importance of his discernment. Vs. 19. “when I know of your state”
a. Paul was confident that Timothy would “see” right. Spiritual discernment is one of the attributes of a good pastor. He must be able to see below the surface and recognize the condition and needs of the church.
b. Paul was confident that Timothy would “report” right. Timothy would give him an accurate report of the condition of the church at Philippi. Timothy would not paint a bad “picture” of the church unless it was doing well nor would he paint a good “picture” if it were doing badly.
3. The importance of Timothy’s Heart. Vs. 20-21.
a. He had a Pastor’s Care for the People. The brethren in the church love and care for their church but the heart of a pastor is different. He lives and dies for the church. His thoughts are continually upon its spiritual, physical, and financial well-being. The church is a pastor’s life!
b. He had a Pastor’s care for the Work. The pastor’s calling and work involves the church. People get so involved sometimes with their lives that the work of the church goes on the “back burner” but the pastor is different. He must have two “front burners!” He cannot neglect either his family or his church and must keep them both as his first priority.
4. The importance of Timothy’s Help. Vs. 23.
a. He was Close to God’s Man. This young man loved Paul with all of his heart. I cannot imagine the danger to this young man as he stayed with the imprisoned apostle. In those days, guilt by association would land you in the same cell! He was not ashamed to be associated with the jailed apostle nor did he fear for his life.
b. He was Critical to God’s Man. Paul said, “For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's” about Timothy. If this were so, then Timothy would be the likely choice to be sent to the church. I find in the next verse just how critical it was for Timothy to stay with Paul when I read, “Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.” The Apostle Paul needed Timothy more than the church needed him!
A. We older men are passing quickly from the scene and I often wonder who will take our place? I asked another preacher, who had commented on his knowledge of several preachers getting ready to step aside because of age, “Who would pastor my church?” The “natural” desire of men is to one day retire. How many of you are retired? What a wonderful thing to be able to stay at home instead of going to work and doing what you would like to do for your remaining years.
B. I am no different when “naturally minded.” I know that I am not indispensable, as no man is; I also know that many churches in small communities are without pastors tonight. Fewer young men are surrendering to the will of God. Before God ever called me into the ministry, I surrendered my life to whatever will He had for me. My prayer is, “Dear Lord, please give us some young men with the heart to serve you in the place of us older men who are nearing home!”