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Dr. Hamilton starts this chapter off talking about Phil 2: 19-24. In these verses he points out two facts from Paul’s letter. These facts concern the supreme interest of the Christian.
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you. 20 For I have no one like him, who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know Timothy’s proven worth, how as a son with a father he has served with me in the gospel.23 I hope therefore to send him just as soon as I see how it will go with me, 24 and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also.
First he commends Timothy to them as a man who is genuinely concerned about their welfare. He then speaks of those who don’t share that same concern. He speaks of those who seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.
So we have two outlooks juxtapositioned against each other.
The first group with a genuine love for Christ and a love for the people of God. Against the second group the professes to love God but is highly influenced by self-interest, greed, pride, or whatever. This latter group serves their own self-interest.
It’s easy to do you know? To become complacent in our faith, to drift along with the tides of the world we live in. It’s easy to forget what our first priority should be.
To escape this drift, we need to remember the words of our Lord. Take up our cross and follow him. He doesn’t promise it’s easy, but he does promise that by seeking the genuine good of those around him, that by searching our own hearts and lives, and by actively pursuing the Lord others will see Christ in us.
After reminding us of this truth, Dr. Hamilton calls us to action. Calling us to remember how we show love to others.
One of the best ways to prevent drift is to have a genuine love and concern for our fellowship of believers. Taking the time to care for those around us. From writing a letter of gratitude, to spending time with a shut-in, making a meal for a family in need, taking the time to babysit for a young family, or to help rebuild a porch. Taking the time for others put our own self-love on the back seat. And that helps to keep us aware of the drift and able to step out of it.
It makes me think of Bondi Rescue, a show my 13 year old really likes to watch. In this show the lifeguards are constantly reminding people to swim between the flags and watch where they are going. If they do that, they will stay out of trouble, and not need to be rescued.
So too, as believers, we need to be alert to where we are. We need to be watchful of the drift that naturally occurs. Caring for our fellow believers stops the drift. Just like watching for where the flags are and what the waves are doing, keeps the non-swimmers safe on the beach.
Be safe, be alert and be caring. Stop the drift.