Today’s passage: Philippians 2:19-30
- Verse 21 is a stark contrast from verse 3. May God give us hearts that are increasingly sincerely concerned for the well-being of others.
- There are some windows into the heart of Paul in this passage. He is a human being.
- He saw Epaphroditus’ physical recovery as the mercy of God to Epaphroditus and to him. To live is Christ and to die is gain…and yet it still hurts to lose our loved ones (Verse 27).
- Paul also admits to needing to be less anxious (Verse 28).
- Spiritual maturity (Exemplified in humility and love) and a willingness to sacrifice self for the cause of Christ are cause for respect in the household of God.
Questions to consider:
- This passage is very down to earth and practical. Which aspect of the passage stuck out the most to you? Were Paul, Timothy, Epaphroditus or the Philippians believers a higher level of human existence than any of us? How can the apparent humanity of this portion of the letter encourage you to grow in ministry?
- How does Paul’s acknowledgement that very few people were actually counting others as more significant than themselves and that he had struggled with anxiety, etc. remind us of the grounds of our salvation? Why were these people saved? Why was it right to call on them to grow even though Paul had room to grow himself? Was he being a hypocrite or an honest example?
- How should honoring or respecting a mature, self-sacrificing Christian look like in the church? In lieu of the trophy presentations and fan-fare we might see in the world, how do the people of God show one another respect?