Last week Jason started us off introducing the book, and giving us a little bit of background to 2 Timothy.
• Paul’s commissioning and Mission
Chosen by God, sent out to tell others about the life God promised through faith
• Written to Timothy his dear son.
• Paul’s Prayer for Timothy that God would give him grace, mercy and peace.
Let’s pick up where he finished.
2 Tim 1:3-4 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.
The depth of Paul’s relationships with Timothy:
These words are filled with emotion as Paul reflects on the relationship he has with Timothy, his son in the faith.
- I thank God for you
- night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers
- I long to see you again
- I remember your tears as we departed
- I will be filled with joy when we are together again
Paul spent a lot of time with Timothy and invested a lot into him. We were introduced to Timothy in Acts 16 on Paul’s 2nd missionary journey, while he was visiting Lystra for the 2nd time. Paul was impressed with Timothy right from the start. Acts 16:2 says “Timothy was well thought of by the believers in Lystra and Iconium, so Paul wanted him to join them on their journey.”
Timothy traveled together with Paul for the remainder of his 2nd missionary journey. While they traveled together, Paul had the opportunity to teach and disciple him all along the way. As Paul reflects back on that time, he is filled with emotion. And every time those memories come to mind, it causes him to constantly pray for him.
You guys have seen us live this way in front of you. While we have been in the gardens, we have talked about the things you are learning. While we have been hiking to different places, we have talked about God and His Word. And now, as we think about the time that we leave you and give this work over to you to continue, we will constantly be thinking about you guys and praying for you and longing to see you again!
e2 application: This is how we as e2 coordinators feel about you guys. Unfortunately we only have a few months with you guys. But we want to not only teach you in the formal classroom, but we want to have time with you when we are just discipling you all along the way. Like I shared the first week from 1 Thess 2:8 we long not just to impart knowledge to you, but to share our lives with you. We hope when our time together is finished we will be able to look back similar emotion as Paul describes here. That we long to see you again. To hear about the work God is doing through you, and in you. And when we see you again, we will be filled with joy.
CP application: As you guys think about your future church and discipling elders, you need to follow Paul’s example here. Paul did not just teach formally, but took people with him every where he went. He discipled them one on one along the way. As we see the emotion in Paul’s words here it reveals the depth we need to go to with the people we minister to. And as you model that to them, they will follow your example as they develop as elders.
2 Tim 1:3-4 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did.
We talked about the fact that Paul was writing from a prison cell. So, as Paul is there in prison, formulating what to share to Timothy in this 2nd letter, he reflects back on his life and ministry. And as he looks back, he says, “I have a clear conscience.” I have done all that God gave me to do with integrity! As Paul looked back, there was nothing that he regretted. There was nothing that he wished he could do again. He says, “my conscience is clear!”
This is quite a challenge! Would that be true about your life and ministry?
Paul will be talking more about this in chapter 2. But, here at the beginning of his letter, it was something Paul felt Timothy needed to hear. Paul wanted to inspire Timothy to strive to live without regret!
e2 application: We talked about simplicity and the importance of removing distractions so that you can have the time, energy and resources to devote to the ministry God has given you. Paul lived his life that way! And in the end, he was able to look back and declare, “I have a clear conscience.” That should be our desire and goal!
Timothy’s Noticeable faith
2 Tim 1:5 5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.
I remember your genuine faith…
This was not “faith” like the false teachers or religious leaders. Paul saw something different in Timothy. He saw something that was genuine. Something that not only Paul saw, but the believers in Lystra and Iconium also must have seen. Timothy’s faith was noticeable!
…for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.
Paul must have witnessed the faith of his mother and grandmother. How long had Paul known them? We don’t really know. But, when someone is living by faith, how long does it take to notice it? Paul may have only seen these women a few times, but because they had such a walk of faith, it stood out to him! As as he reflects on the encounters that he had with Timothy’s mom and grandmother, he encourages Timothy;
I know that same faith continues strong in you!
Wow, that must have been so encouraging to Timothy to hear, especially coming from Paul.
How noticeable is your faith? Does your faith stand out? Do other believers see you walking by faith?
For you parents, are you passing on your faith? Timothy’s mother and grandmother had faith that was noticeable, and they modeled it in the home, and taught their son / grandson how to live by faith also! Because of their example and their discipleship of their son, even as a young man, Timothy’s faith was noticeable!
e2 application: Parenting… Discipleship begins in the home! The pattern of discipleship you display in parenting, will be how you train and disciple your church. While you have never discipled a church and elders before, you have ample opportunity to practice in your own home. Parenting is a trial run for discipleship!
- How do you teach your kids to respond to the Holy Spirit? You are going to need to teach your church that.
- How do you teach your kids to overcome sin in their lives? You are going to have to disciple your church to do that.
- 1st time obedience.. how do you train people to listen and respond to God’s authority? Well, for your kids it starts with the authority in the home!
That is the walk of faith! Learning to deny ourselves so we can be God’s instruments to do and say what He wants us to do!
Use Your Gift
2 Tim 1:6 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.
Fan into flame.
This is a picture you are all very familiar with. When the fire has gone out, and you need to start cooking, what do you do? You will get some dry coconut husk, or dry sticks and leaves, and find some embers from the fire. As you put the dry coconut husk into the embers, what do you do to it? You blow on it. You “fan” it into flame. Sometimes it takes a bit of work to get the fire going. But once the fire is going, it’s not as hard to keep it going. The more sticks you add, and the more you blow on it, the bigger it gets.
Paul is saying to Timothy, God has given you a gift, and He wants that gift to become a big flame in your life! Taking that first step sometimes is the most difficult. When we began training you guys to teach, remember those first few times you tried to teach? It was hard, wasn’t it. You were nervous. You had a hard time putting thoughts together. But, as you have practiced and continue to work at it, you are getting better!
When we studied Ephesians, we talked about the gifts God gave to the church. Teaching is one of them, but God has given His church many gifts. God has given each believer at least one. But, these gifts are not given to you to exalt you, or to make your name great! Paul instructed us in Ephesians that each gift was given to “equip God’s people to do his work and to build up His church until we all come to unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son. The gifts are given to enable ALL of us to become mature in the Lord…” (Eph 4:11-13)
God wants you to continue to cultivate your gift. He wants you to continue to work hard at making it a bigger part of your life! Not for your benefit, but to help your fellow believers to become stronger in their faith!
Paul told Timothy to “fan into flame the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you”
In the book of Acts we saw lots of things that happened through Paul and the other apostles. Paul laying his hands on people sometimes caused special things to happen. But, that’s not the case today. When we lay our hands on people we are simply commissioning them to the work God is setting them apart to do.
2 Tim 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
Paul has been trying to encourage Timothy.
- He reminded Timothy of his deep love for him and his appreciation of their partnership and work together. (v3)
- He inspired Timothy that just as Paul lived without regret, Timothy can also live like that.(v3)
- He expressed his great desire to see Timothy again and how much joy that would bring him.(v4)
- He encouraged Timothy by telling him that he has noticed his faith and has seen that it’s genuine and continues to be strong. (v5)
Now as Paul challenges Timothy to step out in faith, and fan into the flame the gift God gave him (v6), he reminds him that the power is not his own.
God has not given you a spirit of fear and timidity.
You guys remember well the spirit of fear that used to bind you. Your ancestors lived by fear. You were calaboose to fear. But, God in his deep love for you, sent Jesus to free you from fear. You learned that God is greater than all. There is no spirit, no ancestor, no man or anything that can defeat God. And God has said you are His! No one will ever be able to take you from his hand!
Now, as Paul exhorts Timothy, he reminds him to not live by fear! He also reminds Timothy that he does not need to be timid. The reason people are timid is because they are afraid. Afraid they will make a mistake. Afraid they will say something wrong. Afraid of what people will think of them. Paul is telling Timothy, “Don’t serve me in fear! Don’t be timid in ministry because you are afraid of something! That’s not how I have enabled you! I have given you a gift, and I want you to work hard at it becoming big in your life by MY POWER!”
God has given you the spirit of Power, love, and self-discipline.
This is Holy Spirit! Remember what Paul said to the Ephesians about God’s power in us? The same mighty power that raised Jesus from the dead, is in us! (Eph 1:19-20) Paul is telling Timothy, “You have no reason to fear! You have no reason to be timid! God has given you His Spirit! His Spirit has the same power God used to raise Jesus from the dead! There is nothing that should hinder you from fanning into flame that gift God gave you and serving me with boldness!
application: What prevents you from being bold? What hinders you from boldly allowing God to use the gift he has given you?
Love: This spirit God has given us is one of power, but it’s also a spirit of love. How much does God love you? God loved you so much He gave His son for you. As you remember His love, that should motive you to desire others to experience his love too! Paul is telling Timothy, as you serve God with the gift He gave you, do it in the power of the Spirit, motivated by God’s love for you.
Self Discipline: In order to allow God to use us, that means we have to empty ourselves. In order for God to become big in our lives, we need to become small. It takes discipline to make that happen. Discipline takes work. If you want to shoot a bow and arrow well enough to hit something, how do you learn how to do it? You practice. You do it over and over, until you are consistently shooting straight. That’s discipline. Doing something until it becomes a habit.
It reminds me of what Paul said to Timothy at the end of chapter 4 in 1 Timothy:14-15 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received … 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks … that’s self-discpline! Throwing yourself completely into what God has given you to do, and laying everything else aside.
Paul is telling Timothy, as you serve God with the gift He gave you, do it in the power of the Spirit, motivated by God’s love for you, deny yourself and become available to God until it becomes a habit.
- Build deep relationships and disciple along the way
- Live without regret with simplicity
- Live by a faith that is noticeable. If you are a parent, intentionally pass your faith on to our children
- Fan into flame your gift.
- As you serve God with the gift He gave you, do it in the power of the Spirit, motivated by God’s love for you, deny yourself and become available to God until it becomes a habit.