Day 5

Timothy and Epaphroditus

from the Philippians reading plan

Philippians 2:19-30, Acts 19:21-22, 1 Corinthians 16:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

BY Bailey Gillespie

It was an early morning in June when I logged into my work computer at our university library. I hadn’t been online for more than a minute before seeing tributes pouring in from church leaders, moms, and others whose lives have been enriched by this one woman and her heart for God. Elisabeth Elliot had died.

Elisabeth’s writing helped guide my spiritual formation after I stumbled across her work somewhere around the age of twenty years old. An American missionary, wife, author, and speaker, she was a modest saint, one who would never call attention to herself. She saw our lives as “chalices” or “empty vessels willing and ready to be filled with the life of God.” But on this June morning, people seemed to think it right to honor her long walk of faithfulness.

During his missionary journeys, the apostle Paul honored his ministry partners in a similar way by speaking well of them. When he wrote to groups like the one in Philippi, he vouched for his friends and elevated their good qualities so there would be no question of their credibility. Timothy was a “like-minded” man doing the Lord’s work with “proven character” (Philippians 2:20, 22; 1 Corinthians 16:10). Epaphroditus was his “brother” who should be welcomed with “great joy” (Philippians 2:25, 29). Paul also asked these churches to recognize and hold in high regard those among them who were risking their lives for the kingdom (1 Thessalonians 5:12–13).

Jesus tells us, “You will have suffering in the world.” (John 16:33). I’ve always found it strange when we describe life as having seasons of trials and tribulations. Instead of life being a static plane of serenity with intermittent times of trial, it sometimes seems that life itself is the trial with intermittent times of serenity. One thing that gives us strength while following Jesus is our friendship with others and their encouragement on the journey.

I hope people pointed out the good they saw in Elisabeth Elliot while she was alive. I imagine that her modest personality was challenged now and then by opportunities to focus on affirmation from others. But even if not, I hope her story inspires us to follow Paul’s model and affirm the God-honoring qualities we see in our brothers and sisters. This isn’t to draw self-serving attention or make them arrogant; it’s an opportunity to build up the Body of Christ in a world so often marked by anything but serenity.

Post Comments (58)

58 thoughts on "Timothy and Epaphroditus"

  1. Melissa Mcronney says:

    I fall in love with people that are in love with Christ Jesus. May God bless ever reader and the women who created this. In Jesus name Amen

  2. K D says:

    Encouragement…such an important practice. Thanks for the thoughts Bailey.

  3. Natasha R says:

    Sending love and hugs to everyone here! I appreciate and honor you all. ❤️

  4. Sharon W says:

    Well said Churchmouse I agree 100%.

  5. Sharon W says:

    ♥️ Happy Valentine’s Day to all my precious friends in Christ❣️ I really enjoy all of you as the SRT group and your interesting comments every day. I ask Him to sit awhile in my special place to have His Presence

  6. LeAnn Schmitt says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day sisters in Christ!

  7. Joyce Smith says:

    I am so thankful to all of you. Your wisdom and loves lifts me to new levels!!! Thanks and love all of you.
    Be Blessed my Sisters❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  8. Lynn Painter says:

    Good morning my sweet SRT friends. My desire for spending time in God’s word is huge right now because it comes with the deep joy that can only be found in Christ alone.

    1. Sharon W says:


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