Today’s Reading: Philippians 2:19-3:3
A while back I was travelling in Eastern Europe and while visiting a market was offered a North Face jacket for 20 Euros. The man said it is 100% original and not a fake, despite it being much cheaper than normal. The thing is in the world there are many fake products on the market.
The same is true of the Christian faith. There are many fakes on the market. There are many people who profess to follow Christ but few who live like Christ. I want you to see a picture of a man who was identified as the real thing. “I plan (according to Jesus’ plan) to send Timothy to you very soon so he can bring back all the news of he can gather. Oh, how that will do my heart good! I have no one quite like Timothy. He is loyal, and genuinely concerned for you. Most people around here are looking out for themselves, with little concern for the things of Jesus. But you know yourselves that Timothy’s the real thing. He’s been a devoted son to me as together we’ve delivered the Message. As soon as I see how things are going to fall out for me here, I plan to send him off. And then I’m hoping and praying to be right on his heels.” Phil. 2:22-23 TMNT Notice in verse 23 Paul identifies Timothy as being the real thing.
What was there about Timothy that won him such a wonderful affirmation? Paul looked at Timothy and saw an individual who was the real thing. He was genuine. Authenticity should be a characteristic of our faith.
Sometimes when you purchase items with a note the cashier will use a marker to check the bill for authenticity. Even so, there is a method for determining authenticity in the Christian faith. The measure of authenticity in the Christian faith is Jesus Christ. Twice in verses 21-22 Paul mentions Timothy’s commitment to the gospel of Christ.
Timothy’s faith was authentic because it was personal and life changing. Have you had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ? There are real Christians and fake Christians. There are people who know Jesus Christ and people who do not. Timothy came to know Jesus Christ through the teachings of his mother and grandmother. We find this recorded in II Tim. 3:14-15.
After accepting Jesus Christ Timothy made serving him the priority of his life. Service to Jesus was not an add on. Service to Jesus was not a supplement. It was his life. It became the priority of his life. A person who is the real thing is a Reliable servant of Christ.