Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 18 Number 1 January 2016
Page 9

A Revoltin’ Development

Donald R. Fox

Donald R. FoxUnless you have been around a lot of years you would not remember actor William Bendix and his radio show, “The Life of Riley.” Both TV and radio programs back years ago were designed to entertain with clean, wholesome dispositions. Such was our hapless hero Riley. His frequent exclamation of indignation was “What a revoltin’ development this is!” That expression became one of the most famous catchphrases of the 1940’s. Riley was always in trouble because of his mistakes or his family and life in general. Within any lifespan, all of us will have troubles. Some are minor, and others will cut your heart and soul to bits. Such is life!

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles.” Charlie Chaplin (1889 – 1977)

“Troubles are often the tools with which God fashions us for better things.” Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887)

“Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles.” Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972)

“I have spent most of my life worrying about things that have never happened.” Mark Twain (1835 –1910)

I must admit that I have been troubled many times, and I know I cannot, for the most part, have any influence to change what bothers me. To illustrate, presently I am distressed with our current political parties and national government. However, like you, we press on to do the best we can. With this thought, I go for strength to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. With my understanding and promises of our God, I know that our God is still in command. God help all of us to overcome useless worry.

In this life trouble and worry will always be with us. Yet, we can always rely on God. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3-5). “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

Being a Servant

Gary C. HamptonPaul proclaimed Jesus as the ultimate example of exhibiting the mind of a servant. The apostle followed that example in serving the church in Philippi. He was able to broaden his service to the various churches by sending faithful messengers to them. It was the apostle’s hope that it would be the Lord’s will that Timothy could soon be sent to check on the welfare of the church at Philippi. His purpose would be to deliver word from Paul to them and report back to the apostle the things he had seen in the church. Paul expected the report to be good, as he said it would comfort him (Philippians 2:1-19).

Timothy was the one upon whom Paul could depend to be concerned only for the welfare of the church (Philippians 2:20). He told the Corinthian brethren, “Now if Timothy comes, see that he may be with you without fear; for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do” (1 Corinthians 16:10). Paul’s confidence in Timothy can be seen as he described him as a fellow worker, “true son in the faith” and a brother who had preached among the Corinthians (Romans 16:21; 1 Timothy 1:2, 18; 2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1, 19).

Concern for the church at Thessalonica drove Paul to choose to be left alone in Athens and to send “Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). Others sought only their own personal gain, but Timothy, like a coin or precious metal that had been proven genuine, was known as one who loved the church as dearly as Paul did, his father in the faith. The apostle planned to send him to Philippi as soon as Paul knew how his trial would go. He believed in God’s providence and felt sure that he would soon be released so he could visit Philippi firsthand (Philippians 2:21-24).

Each of us can make a difference by displaying the heart of a servant. Let us focus our attention on the welfare of others and sacrifice to provide for their needs.

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