A Singular Focus in Life

I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.
–Philippians 2:20

Why was Timothy selected by Paul to go back and take care of the problem in Philippi? Why did Paul enlist Timothy in missionary service? First of all, Timothy had a singular focus in his life.

In Philippians 2:20-21, Paul said about Timothy, “I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.” You could almost hear Paul’s disappointment. He was saying, “I’m looking for somebody to use in this important mission, and I don’t have that many options. There aren’t that many people who are sold out to Jesus Christ.” Isn’t that true today? How many people do you see who would say, “I am willing to follow Jesus Christ regardless of the cost”? Most Christians say, “Sure, I’ll follow Jesus–unless it costs me a date or a promotion. Then forget it.” Paul said, “That’s what I see all around me.” Later on, he would write, “Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me” (2 Timothy 4:10). But Timothy had a singular commitment to Jesus Christ.

Where did Timothy learn that? Remember, he was only a teenager. That means his mother and grandmother taught him early in life. Parents, one of the most important lessons you can instill in your children is that it’s going to cost you something to live as a Christian. Now, to become a Christian is free. But to live as a Christian is costly. If you are going to be a Christian, it’s going to cost you something. The sooner you can teach your children that lesson, the better off they’re going to be in their walk with God. But we tell our children the opposite today, don’t we? We say, “If your teacher says something antibiblical, just keep that to yourself. Don’t rock the boat. Just go along to get along. After all, God would never call on you to give up a grade or your rank in class just to take a stand for Him, would He?” Or parents say, “If being on this elite soccer team or baseball team or traveling tennis club means you have to be out most Sundays, that’s okay. God would never ask you to give up a potential scholarship. He would never ask you to give up excelling in your sports to be in church, would He?”

In Mark 8:35-36, Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” Parents, the most important lesson you can teach your children is that it’s going to cost you to become a Christian. It’s better they learn that lesson early in life than have to learn it later on. Timothy learned the lesson well, and because of that, Paul chose him for this place of service.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Heroes” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.

Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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