PHILIPPIANS 2018 | DAY XXX

READ PHILIPPIANS TWO

 

Spiritual friendships are truly a gift from the Lord. I can name a few friendships throughout my life that have pointed me toward the Gospel in painful times, in times of celebration, and in ordinary times of obedience. These friends are such a gift to me.

 

It’s difficult for us in our age of technology and travel accessibility to imagine Paul’s scenario. But let’s think on it for a moment: When Paul started the church in Philippi, he likely spent months there – possibly even a year. He grew in community with these believers as they studied the Scriptures and talked about their common inheritance in the Gospel. This kind of intense season builds some of the most bonded friendships.

 

Are there any friends in your life that have developed from sharing an intense season of life together? Consider how they were built and what caused them to develop.

 

But when Paul left Philippi, he wasn’t guaranteed to see his friends again. There was no assurance that he would be able to return and visit. Now, he sits in prison, miles from his friends. He can’t text or email them; all he has is a letter carried by the hand of a hired messenger or friend. It would take months to arrive and months to hear back.

 

This relational context shines a light on how passionate Paul is in 2:19-30. We can almost hear the longing in his voice as we read the Text – how deeply his missed his friends, how much he wants to communicate to them, and how dearly he holds them in his heart. As he does, he assures them that he currently has two companions who are walking through this difficult season with him.

 

Read 2:19-30. Make note of what we learn about Timothy and what we learn about Epaphroditus.

 

Timothy:

 

Epaphroditus:

 

How might the Lord be calling you to be a Timothy in someone’s life – genuinely concerned for the welfare of others, and serving in the gospel alongside your friends?

 

How might Lord be calling you to be an Epaphroditus in someone’s life – partnering with someone in their suffering, giving all for the sake of the Gospel even when faced with illness or death?

 

Who has been a Timothy to you?

 

Who has been an Epaphroditus to you?

 

PRAY & REFLECT

Prayerfully consider the spiritual friendships in your present and past. Thank God for them and pray for them. Ask the Lord to stir in your heart a desire to be that kind of spiritual friend for others, and ask Him to show you which friends He would have you partner with in the Gospel.

Author: amygannett

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