Thursday, December 5, 2013
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV).
We have often heard the expression “timid Timothy,” but have you ever wondered why he was timid?
Timothy was despised because of his young age (1 Timothy 4:12), he was imprisoned for Jesus Christ at least once (Hebrews 13:23), he was facing intense opposition from false teachers (1 Timothy 1:3-11), and he suffered “often infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23). Now, Paul, his dear friend and brother in Christ, is in prison again. Timothy is beset with troubles, troubles, troubles! He is weary, mentally and emotionally distressed. He wants to give up.
If Timothy is to survive the troubles yet to come (more false teaching, and worst of all, Paul’s execution), his mind must be corrected, reminded of God’s truth, and this farewell letter from Paul will accomplish just that. Today’s Scripture is excerpted from the Apostle Paul’s final epistle. If ever Timothy needed to remember his identity in Jesus Christ, it is now!
The Holy Spirit, writing through Paul, is preparing Timothy to handle the impending death of his good friend, and the increasing doctrinal errors within the Body of Christ. The Church the Body of Christ needs Timothy to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1), to remain faithful in the message of God’s grace and pass it on to “faithful men” who will teach others also (verse 2), to “endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (verse 3). He needs not abandon God’s people when they need godly, mature leadership. The apostasy that is already occurring—the forsaking of Pauline grace truths and the embracing of the (Scriptural) Mosaic Law—is nothing new (2 Timothy 1:15).
Timothy needs to be reminded of today’s Scripture, three concepts that are key to handling all troubles. Let us discuss these three provisions that God has given Timothy (and us!) in Christ, and how they can sustain him (and us!) amidst those troubles of life….