Thursday, May 20, 2010

WHERE ARE THE TIMOTHYS?

It was to the Philippian Christians that Paul first introduced the truth, “Let the mind of Christ be in you.” Paul wrote this message to them while he was imprisoned in Rome.

It was from a jail cell that Paul declared he had the mind of Christ, casting aside his reputation to become a servant of Jesus and his church. Now he wrote, “I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state” (Philippians 2:19).

This is the thinking, the outworking, of the mind of Christ. Think about it: Here was a pastor, sitting in jail, yet he wasn’t thinking of his own comfort, his own hard situation. He was concerned only about the spiritual and physical condition of his people. And he told his sheep, “My comfort will come only when I know you’re doing well, in spirit and body. So I’m sending Timothy to check up on you, in my behalf.”

Then Paul makes this alarming statement: “For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state” (2:20). What a sad statement! As Paul wrote this, the church around him in Rome was growing and being blessed. Clearly, there were godly leaders in the Roman church. But, Paul says, “I have no man who shares with me the mind of Christ.” Why was this so? “For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s” (2:21). Evidently, there was no leader in Rome with a servant’s heart—no one who had cast aside reputation and become a living sacrifice. Instead, everyone was set on pursuing his own interests. None had the mind of Christ. Paul could trust no one to go to Philippi to be a true servant to that body of believers.

Paul’s words here cannot be softened: “Everybody’s out for himself. These ministers seek only to benefit themselves. That’s why there’s nobody here I can trust to naturally care for your needs and hurts, except Timothy.”

Our prayer should be: “Lord, I don’t want to be focused only on myself in a world that’s spinning out of control. I don’t want to be concerned about my own future. I know you hold my path in your hands. Please, Lord, give me your mind, your thinking, your concerns. I want to have your servant’s heart.” Amen.