Phil 2:20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. V21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. V22 But you know the proof of him, that, as son with the father, he has served with me in the gospel.
The psychology of post-Christian cultures notoriously minimizes character and virtue. Employing inside politics, whitewashed platitudes, inflated bios, participation trophies, and everybody’s-a-winner celebrations, the intent is to equalize the rewards of human effort. Societies may blend or share the rewards of the well-deserved with the indolently undeserved, but Scripture reveals a distinct line between heart-driven service and efforts framed for image.
That flaccid and contemptible label, “politically correct”, is never attached to Paul, the New Testament’s most prolific writer. His ministry style is too demanding and rare, his candid writing too precise and real, his evaluation of ministers too rugged and raw to be ambivalent.
As Paul meticulously unravels essential church doctrine, so he evaluates those given to ministry and service. Intrepid and forthright, those traveling and supporting the Apostle’s work could receive pleasing endearments or fatherly reproofs.
To walk and work alongside this foundational Apostle, was to have the luxury of relating to a man of unworldly character – one able to discern integrity and able also to publicly exalt or censure it.
His observations of protégés and fellow ministers reflect unwavering absolutes, his conclusions and judgments undeniable and undebatable. There’s no wiggle room in his vocabulary, no possibility for misunderstanding or missing the point in his assessments. Clear, unmistakable and unadorned with fluff, Paul communicated truth and intent masterfully and faithfully.
The above scripture text is case in point…
How boldly then does Paul call out those who stand only in spaces of comfort and convenience!
How sharply does he expose those who become loveless and careless with the Bride of Christ!
How fearlessly does he contrast selfless, sacrificing ministers and the self-centered!
But then there’s also Timothy, a young man faithfully committed to Paul and the Gospel. A fellow minister of whom Paul was not ashamed; a needed companion, a trusted comrade, a willing servant.
Paul’s effusive record of Timothy’s part in advancing his apostolic assignment is both epic and heartwarming. It is incontrovertible that pieces of the early church design came through the father/son relationship of Paul and Timothy.
And it is also certain that relationships of such did not cease, nor did they become unnecessary, at the passing of the early church fathers.
I am both witness and participant of such a relationship…
To God, I’m grateful.
To you son, Pastor Jason, I’m honored.
Happy Pastor Appreciation, Pastor Jason!
Impact Church salutes you gladly today, and honors your obedience to the gifts and divine call of sharing the greatest love story ever told!