by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Philippians is Paul's love letter. The epistle is also a good instrument for learning the secret of this great man. Paul considered living Christ and dying gain. And, although he wrote from a prison cell, his refrain was "Rejoice in the Lord always."
I have no one else like him [Timothy],... Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier (Phil. 2:2, 25).
All of us need friends. Parents will choose schools, select neighborhoods to live in, even join a particular church if they think that their children will find congenial peers in that place.
Grownups need friends too. Most of us find a spouse and, if all is well, he or she becomes our closest friend.
To us Paul looks like a spiritual giant. Yet he shows a remarkable dependence on friends. Sometimes we can almost taste his disappointment: "All of them are seeking their own interests..." (2:21, NRSV).
About Timothy he speaks with intense gratitude. Timothy was like a son to Paul and a loyal friend of the Philippians. With Paul he is sending this letter (1:1). And as soon as it's clear what will happen to Paul, Timothy will travel to Philippi.
Epaphroditus is the one who brought the present on behalf of the Philippians, and he is now carrying the letter back to the church. Paul calls him his "brother" because they have the same Father in heaven. He calls him "coworker" because they are never in competition. And he calls him "fellow soldier" in the same spiritual battle.
We need to have friends. And we need to be friends. We lean on Christ and on each other. Betrayal by a friend in Christ is the hardest kind of trial to bear. But loyalty of a fellow soldier cheers the heart.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version