All of us come across people every day that are incredibly fascinating. They can be humorous, intelligent, wise, kind, generous, joy-filled, etc. Occasionally, you will meet someone who “pops” out as being just a little different, they reflect a love and genuine concern for others that is out of the ordinary. Paul mentions a young man named Timothy who was this kind of person in Philippians 2:20-21.
- Read the passage and reflect on Paul’s description of Timothy. What was it that set Timothy apart from everyone else?
- Take a moment to reflect on someone in your world who truly values other people. This may not be someone in the spotlight, most likely it’s someone just going about their day, yet they have an “others-focused” life!
- What is it that they do?
- What do you think motivates them to live this way?
- Everyone needs a “Timothy” in their world. If you have one, you are blessed. However, everyone can seek to be a genuine encourager to someone. Who has come across your path that needs someone in their corner? If you think about it for a bit you will realize it could easily be you!
- Take some time this week to reflect on the blessings God has given you in your life. Write them down.
- If you have been blessed by God with his peace and His presence, then you have been blessed to be a blessing. Who is someone in your world that you can bless this week? Ask God to open your eyes to see, then open your heart to respond!
- Take some time to sit, reflect and ask God to put someone on your heart to whom you can be a blessing. Beware, He may just surprise you!
1. What is one thing you’ve secretly wished all your life you could do? What’s keeping you from doing it?
2. Who in your life played a pivotal role in your coming to faith? Who has been very influential in your spiritual formation? Why? What qualities did they model for you?
Read: Philippians 2:19-30
3. If you had to give a character reference for Timothy or Epaphroditus, what would you say? How do they illustrate Php. 2:1-4?
4. Which of the challenges the believers at Philippi were facing (1:17; 2:3; 3:2; 4:3) would Timothy and Epaphroditus be most suited to deal with?
5. Timothy and Epaphroditus serve as models to pattern our lives after particularly in focusing on the needs of others. How did each of them do that? How would your perspective change if you asked yourself, “Who can I serve?” every time you walked into a room?
6. Timothy and Epaphroditus also teach us to give ourselves to causes that are worth dying for. What does it mean to “give away” our life for a godly cause? Give examples of people you know who have put service to God (or others) before their own security. How has the example of their life impacted you?
7. Another quality the men Paul mentions model for us is to become someone people trust. Timothy was a proven servant who developed a reputation built on integrity and who kept his promises (his actions matched his words, no matter the cost). From Paul’s comments regarding Timothy’s trustworthy character (v.20), what can we conclude about the life choices Timothy made? How can we become trustworthy? Who do you trust and why?
8. 1 Corinthians 1:10 (Mes) says: “You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common.” Learning to work well with others is critical to life together. Based on the above verse, what does Paul say is essential for being a team player? Discuss ways to build these characteristics into the group you are a part of.
9. Who are the models of humility and service you can look up to today, as Paul looks to Timothy and Epaphroditus? How do they challenge you to grow?