What Happens When You Love Jesus
Right before this passage (Phil 2:19-30), Paul had just laid down some serious theology about how Jesus humbled himself to save us. Then he stops right in the middle of the letter to talk about two people in his life, Timothy and Epaphroditus. The timing seems kind of odd; usually Paul would mention people at the end of his letters. But he didn’t do this on accident. Paul was so eager to give us real examples of what life looks like when you really love Jesus.
Paul says he has no one like his first example, Timothy. Why? (Vs. 20) Because Timothy is the only one who genuinely cares about the people’s welfare.
- Have you had a time in your life where you experienced genuine care from another person? (Not just out of obligation or curiosity, or because they wanted something in return, but a time that someone really cared for you) Share about that experience and how it impacted you.
A chief indicator of our closeness to Jesus is the level of care and concern for those closest to us.
Let that sink in for a minute and then take a few moments and reflect on where you are at with this personally.
Now write down five of the closest people to you and then spend five minutes in prayer and reflection. Ask God how you can genuinely care for these people’s needs. After some time in prayer, make a list of practical ways that you will show your genuine care for these 5 people this month.
- Examples: Pray for them by name daily, give a phone call, a word of encouragement, take time to listen, buy their meal, support them financially if they are struggling, sacrifice your free time and make time for them.
The second person Paul talked about was Epaphroditus. Epaphroditus was the one who was sent to take care of Paul while he was in prison. There’s a chance that Epaphroditus and Paul may not have known one another all that well, if at all, before this encounter. Not only that, these men were very different from each other. Paul (once a Jewish Pharisee) and Epaphroditus (a gentile) were on two completely different sides of the ethnic spectrum. Yet despite their differences, Epaphroditus RISKED his personal comfort, safety, and even his very life for the sake of Paul’s life.
God comforts us so that we can go and get uncomfortable for the sake of others!
Have you spent much time investing in people who are totally different than you? Share. Who? How have they impacted your life? What have you learned? Has anything about the friendship surprised you?
On Sunday night, we talked about an incredible opportunity we're pursuing this year called, SAN CLEMENTE LOVES SKID ROW. What thoughts/feelings come to mind when you consider the opportunity to go to skid row and hangout with the marginalized, the disenfranchised, and those rejected in our society?
True Godly love is giving, sacrificing, and loving, knowing that the other person can’t give you anything in return. This is how God showed his love for us. We had nothing to offer him, yet he pursued us and gave his life for us anyway.
Remember, everyone is worth pursuing, and everyone matters to God.
Will we love like Jesus?
End in prayer as a group.