At the Duluth Church of Christ this coming Sunday morning, Thomas Reid will be speaking to us about two brothers in Christ who were very special to the apostle Paul: Timothy and Epaphroditus. As we look at the characters of these two special men, we can learn how we can model our character after them.
The following songs are from the book Praise for the Lord.
Seek Ye First – 883
The words to this song come straight from Jesus’ mouth, quoted from Matthew 6 and 7. And although you might not think of this as a song of praise, notice that each phrase ends with the word “Alleluia,” a Hebrew interjection meaning “Praise the Lord!” As we think about the providence of God, we can praise Him for taking care of us as we seek His kingdom first, just as Timothy did: “For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:21 NKJV)
God’s Family – 855
This spiritual song was written in the 1970s, shortly after “Seek Ye First,” and paints a beautiful picture of what Christians should be as children of God. Paul may not have been married, but he knew his true family was his brothers and sisters in Christ. “When a brother meets sorrow, we all feel his grief.” This is how the Christians in Philippi felt when they heard that Epaphroditus was sick: “he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.” (Philippians 2:26 NKJV) In the same way, Paul knew they would rejoice to see him again. As children of God, we are family, and we should act like it!
There’s a Royal Banner – 671
Before the sermon, we will sing this rousing spiritual song from the 1880s that encourages us to serve as “soldiers of the king.” One of the descriptions Paul gives Epaphroditus is “my fellow soldier” (Philippians 2:25), and when we realize that being a Christian means being at war, and that it is a matter of life and death, things suddenly become more serious! As a soldier of Christ, Epaphroditus understood this, and almost died as a result of his service to God (Philippians 2:30). We should follow his example and “For Christ count everything as loss.”
Come Unto Me (O Heart Bowed Down With Sorrow) – 107
We will sing this song after the sermon to invite those who are burdened with the sin and troubles of the world to come to Christ and make their life right. This song emphasizes what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, that the way of salvation is so much easier than the life of sin. “His peace is like a river, His love is like a song…”
Oft We Come Together – 511
As we begin turning our minds towards the Lord’s Supper, we will sing this beautiful spiritual song by brother Tillit S. Teddlie. Notice the first line: “Oft we come together, oft we sing and pray.” This should be true for all Christians, but sadly, for some it might be more accurate to say “Sometimes we come together, every now and then we sing and pray.” Let us be more devoted to worshiping our God and being with the saints every time the door is open!
God Will Take Care of You – 191
Before the closing prayer, we will return to the thought introduced by the first hymn, that God will take care of us if we seek Him first. And although not specified in this song, one of the ways that God takes care of us is through other Christians like Timothy and Epaphroditus. As we go through life, let us always “beneath His wings of love abide.”