In my opinion, the deepest relationships a Christian can have, develop from working together for the cause of Christ. There are many things that draw people together from hobbies to sports to our children and so on. But the one eternal priority that should never change in our lives is the priority of living for and serving the Lord. As we serve the Lord together alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ, those ministry relationships become the most meaningful in our lives. The more we love and serve the Lord together, the more we love and appreciate our fellow co-workers in Christ. And these relationships become even more precious after years of service and time- tested proven character is seen in those we serve with. So many come and go in our lives. But the ones who prove themselves faithful to God and loyal friends to you over many years become the most precious. In today’s text, Paul mentions two such brothers who he clearly loves and values and gives them high praise.
Philippians 2:19-30 (NLT) If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has served with me in preaching the Good News. I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here. And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon. Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need. I am sending him because he has been longing to see you, and he was very distressed that you heard he was ill. And he certainly was ill; in fact, he almost died. But God had mercy on him—and also on me, so that I would not have one sorrow after another. So, I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and then I will not be so worried about you. Welcome him with Christian love and with great joy and give him the honor that people like him deserve. For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while doing for me what you couldn’t do from far away.
May we all find at least one or two such godly relationships in our lives.