Devotional: ‘Great in the Eyes of God’

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I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.  I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.  For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.  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.  I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me.  (Philippians 2:19-23)

What a sad commentary Paul wrote on many of those who claimed to be the followers of Christ.

“For everyone looks out for his own interest, not those of Jesus Christ.”

It appears that even during the days of the Apostle Paul, some were trying to use the name of Christ for personal gain. Scripture teaches us that the lure of popularity, power, and prestige are as old as the devil himself. We read from the book of Isaiah that just before his fall, the archangel Lucifer said,

“I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.” (Isaiah 14:14) 

Rather than to worship God, Lucifer desired to be worshiped ‘as God.’

In contrast to Paul’s condemnation of those who served Christ for selfish gain, was his commendation of Timothy who served Christ out of a pure heart.

“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.”

Like a loving son who willingly served alongside his father, so Timothy was willing to serve alongside of Paul and do whatever needed to be done for the sake of the gospel.

As we bring our study for today to a close, I remind us of the words of our Jesus –

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  (Matt 20:26-28) 

Consider carefully three important truths Christ is telling us in this passage:

1) Christ did not come to be served, but to serve

2) Christ’s service meant personal sacrifice 

3) Therefore, whoever desires to be like Christ, must also be willing to serve in similar manner

 

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