July 11

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. Philippians 2:20-21

It is astonishing that Paul had no other friend like Timothy, who had cultivated an unselfish nature. Timothy genuinely cared for others. When we are born again we receive the gift of a new nature, but we must form new habits by constantly obeying the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us that this was rare among the thousands of people that He knew. There were doubtless others who had cultivated their preaching ministry, their business, their career or their family life. Timothy had cultivated the ministry of caring for others, and of leaving obsessive attention to himself. Spiritual qualities and spiritual men and women are rare. This is not to discourage us, but to challenge us to strike out against the stream. Floating downstream is easy as long as we know how to stay afloat! Wading or swimming against the tide is exhausting. We must refuse to be conformed to the flow of cynicism, unbelief and selfishness that we meet on every side. If we do, the reward will be an unselfish life; the most blessed person is one like Timothy. Freedom from self is the foundation of boundless joy. Let God make you an extraordinary soul for His glory.