Summary: This shows how Paul encouraged young Pastor Timothy who was apparently afraid of the responsibilities of his task. He did this by showing that he had confidence in him, as did his friends and the Lord.
PASSING CHRISTIANITY DOWNAN EXPOSITION OF FIRST TIMOTHY
Copyright 2004 by Bob Marcaurelle
ENCOURAGING YOUNG PREACHERS
(1: 2, 18-19a)
“To Timothy my true son in the faith, Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” (1:2)
“Tmothy my son I give you these instructions thinking about the prophecies made about you. If you follow them you will fight the good fight as you hold on to faith and a clear conscience.”
6. Timothy the Encouraged.
Timothy did not make it without human help and neither can we make it without the help of others God gives us. That is what the church is all about. All through chapter 1 of this Letter Paul is encouraging his young friend. No matter how difficult the assignment God will always send people who believe in us and who will encourage us in His work.
Illustration: When I was eight years old, an uncle took me fishing and when I asked him to teach me to swim; he threw me off the bridge into a creek. I swallowed half the creek, but I made it to the bank. I realized I could paddle and stay above water, and not long afterward, I was swimming. But all I felt between the bridge and the water, on my way down was panic.
I’m sure Timothy felt the same way when Paul left him in Ephesus. He may have been ready to teach the faith but stopping popular and respected men from teaching error was no child’s play. He would be opposed on every side and live in constant conflict. That’s why Paul encouraged him. But the rest of the story was I had an uncle who knew I could make it to the bank and who stood ready to come and get me if I couldn’t.
Illustration: In the 1940’s the largest Southern Baptist Church in the world was The First Baptist Church of Dallas. George Truett, the greatest Southern Baptist Preacher of all time had been there for half a century before he died. In the providence of God the church did not call a famous Pastor, but a relative unknown, W. A. Criswell, a young man like Timothy. He had been recommended by a man who heard him speak at a small Associational meeting.
After Criswell arrived, he was overwhelmed by the size and complexity of his new assignment. Sensing his fears, Mrs. Truett called him to her home. She told him she believed he was God’s man for that church. She also told him it was not her husband who had built the church, but God, through her husband. She said, “Trust that same God, young man, and you will do just fine.”
Dr. Criswell, inspired by her faith and encouraged by her words, did just that, and the rest is history. God, through him, most of us believe, built the finest church in the earth in the last half of the twentieth century.
1. The Need of Encouragement.
Pastors, young and old, need encouragement because of their strategic position in the church of God. People look up to them and if the devil can defeat a pastor, he can damage hundreds of tender young Christians.
2. The Nature of Encouragement (1-3: 18-2)
1) The Fact of Our Uniqueness
The name “Timothy”, like our names “Bob” or “Sue”, set us apart as someone different and unique. We are one-of-a-kind human beings. God made us special to fill the special place he sends us. Illustration: A mountain was making fun of a squirrel and said, “Can you carry a tree on your back?” The squirrel answered, “No, can you crack a nut?” The OT Timothy was Jeremiah. When God called him as a Prophet, he told God he was too young. But God told him He had set him apart in his mother’s womb and “appointed him a prophet (Jer. 1).
All that we have experienced and all that we are make us exactly what God needs in the place He sends us. Our weaknesses make us strong because we are more prone to trust in God rather than ourselves. Even our besetting sins, we hate and fight and can’t quite shake, make us more tolerant and understanding of others. We still have our unique weaknesses and temptations. If our problem before conversion was anger or lust or worry, our problem after conversion will be dealing with these as a Christian.
Maybe Timothy’s lack of self confidence came from being the son of a Jewish woman and a Gentile father, like Paul. Maybe he had been looked down on and made fun and felt like he did not belong anywhere. Whatever the reason, He was exactly what God wanted and needed at that time.
2) The faith of others in us