WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 18, 2022
TOPIC: DO YOU GENUINELY CARE ABOUT THE WELFARE OF OTHERS?
BY T. O. BANSO
“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” (Philippians 2:20-21 New Living Translation).
It is one thing to commend oneself, and another thing for others to commend one. What people say about some people is contrary to what they say about themselves. And this is not because people are lying against them.
Paul wrote to the Philippians from his Roman prison and informed them of his hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to them soon, that he also might be cheered when he received news about them (Philippians 2:19). Then, Paul in verses 20-21, gave a very powerful testimony about Timothy, his son in the ministry thus: “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” (verses 20-21 New Living Translation). What a testimony!
This kind of testimony is more effective than any self-commendation. The New King James Version puts the passage thus: “For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” Paul added that the Philippians knew Timothy’s proven character, that as a son with his father, he had served with him in the gospel (verse 22). Paul had confidence in sending Timothy because they had served together in the ministry and he had a genuine interest in the welfare of the Philippian church.
Timothy sincerely cared for the state of the Philippians. This matters to Jesus Christ because He also cares for people. He came here on earth to die for people – the world (John 1:29; Romans 5:6; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Galatians 1:4; 1 John 2:2; 4:10 ). Serving people sincerely matters to Jesus, whether it is in the church or outside the church.
Jesus said in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (New King James Version). And when you serve people, you serve God. That’s why 1 John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (New King James Version). Verse 20 says if someone says he loves God and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? Do you serve others or do you only want them to serve you?
When you genuinely care about the welfare of others, it is not because of personal gain. Also, you don’t feel too big to serve them. You are ready to stoop low to serve them. Jesus said, “And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:27-28 New King James Version).
Jesus told His disciples, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15 New King James Version). In other words, the followers of Jesus should humble themselves to serve one another even in the lowest offices.
Genuine care for people matters to Jesus. Jesus said, “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:37-40 New King James Version).
Whereas Timothy truly cared for the Philippians, others cared only for themselves and not what mattered to Jesus Christ. Do you genuinely care for others or your goal is just what you can benefit from them?
As a shepherd, do you truly care for the flock? Luke 2:8 says that in Bethlehem, there were some shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks of sheep by night. Are you watching over the souls of your spiritual sheep, the flock of Jesus, as one who will give account? (Hebrews 13:17a). Do you love just ministering to a crowd or do you truly love people? Do you care about the salvation of those not yet saved and the well-being of those already saved?
Do you feed them or do you just feed on them and milk them? Do you feed the hungry, look after the sick, and seek the lost? In Ezekiel 34:1-6, God condemned the shepherds of Israel for abusing and neglecting the Israelites and taking care of themselves at their expense. Verse 3 says “You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock” (New King James Version). Because of the failure of these shepherds, God said He would deliver His flock from their mouths so that they might no longer be food for them (verses 7-10). What kind of shepherd are you?
As a political leader, government official, business owner, employer of labour, or whatever level of leadership you may be, do you genuinely care about the welfare of the people under you or do you care only for yourself? Do you make others or do you use them (exploit) them? In your family or other relationships you are in, do you genuinely care about the welfare of others?
God told His people who were exiles in Babylon, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7 English Standard Version). Seek the welfare of others; don’t be concerned only about your interests.
1 Corinthians 10:24 says, “Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well–being” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation puts it this way: “Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” GOD’S WORD Translation renders it thus: “People should be concerned about others and not just about themselves.” This is true love. Are you concerned about the welfare of others or just yourself and your immediate family?
People matter to God; they should matter to you, too. Be genuinely interested in the welfare of others; don’t pretend that you are. Don’t be self-centred. Love is not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13:5).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of my selfishness and lack of concern for the welfare of others. Holy Spirit, help me to love others and genuinely care about their welfare. Help me to be genuinely concerned about others and not just about myself. I pray that those who repay good with evil and abuse others’ genuine care for their welfare will repent in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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