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Receive in Peace

Receive in Peace

Words of Faith 8-10-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Corinthians 16

   [10] If Timothy comes, see to it that he has nothing to fear while he is with you, for he is carrying on the work of the Lord, just as I am. [11] No one, then, should refuse to accept him. Send him on his way in peace so that he may return to me. I am expecting him along with the brothers.

   [12] Now about our brother Apollos: I strongly urged him to go to you with the brothers. He was quite unwilling to go now, but he will go when he has the opportunity.

 

       Paul was planning to come to Corinth. In the meantime he intended to send his beloved assistant, Timothy, in his place. The younger man sometimes traveled in Paul's place. Paul wrote to the Philippians-- "I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you" (2:19).

       What could Timothy possibly fear?   Working with the Corinthian church was no picnic. They could be hard on leaders and harder on visitors. Paul's plea for kindness probably says something about the temperament and character of Timothy, a man devoted to Christ but lacking Paul's robust boldness.

       Timothy was a very special partner in mission for Paul. Paul wrote to the Philippians-- "I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon" (2:20-24).

       Paul had shaped, coached and encouraged Timothy-- "Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12).

       "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God (2 Tim. 1:7-8).

       Paul did not send Timothy alone. It appears that Timothy went out from Ephesus with Erastus (Acts 19:22). They may have been joined by some of the men who later composed Paul's traveling party for delivering the collection (Acts 20:4).

       The last of the Corinthian questions concerned Apollos. They apparently inquired about the possibility of a return visit from him. Apollos was a popular preacher in Corinth and other communities. Paul said he had strongly urged Apollos to visit Corinth but that the gifted Alexandrian had decided to stay on in Ephesus with Paul, and not join Timothy and Erastus in their trip (Acts 19:22). Earlier in the letter, Paul had described himself and Apollos as fellow workers under God (3:9). Paul conducted himself not as a master but as a partner with others who labored in ministry.

         This part of Paul's closing speaks to the diversity of leadership that God raises up in the Body of Christ. Timothy could not have been more different from Paul yet they were of the same mind and heart. In many ways, Paul was like a battle hardened soldier on the mission field while Timothy was a much more timid man of resilient faithfulness and absolute integrity. Apollos was different as well, a masterful orator who needed the coaching of an insightful mind like Paul's. All of these men were part of the picture God was painting across Greece and Turkey.

         As the Body of Christ, we are going to encounter all sorts of leaders. Some will be dynamic theologians like Paul. Others will be brilliant communicators like Apollos. Others will be compassionate pastors like Timothy. They are all part of the picture. They are all part of the design. See to it that they have nothing to fear while with you. They carry on the work of the Lord. No one should refuse to accept them-- young or old, bold or timid, eloquent or blunt. We are called to receive them in peace.

 

       Father God, help me to trust You for the big picture. Keep me from getting hung up on personalities and comfort of leaders that I am used to. Help me to receive from all those You have appointed. In Jesus' Name.