Summary: It isn’t easy to follow Christ and Timothy was not the bold outspoken person that Paul was. Timothy’s heart was right, but he trembled at the task that was before him. The last four verses of this book remind us why Paul was so successful at encouraging
How To Give Encouragement
Purpose: To show how believers can show encouragement to each other.
Aim: I want the believer to look for ways to encourage others no matter how difficult.
INTRODUCTION: It isn’t easy to follow Christ and Timothy was not the bold outspoken person that Paul was. Timothy’s heart was right, but he trembled at the task that was before him. Because Paul’s life was almost over Timothy needed courage now more than ever. Paul knew this as he wrote his final letter.
Let’s look at the last four verses of this book and see why Paul was so successful at encouraging Timothy.
1:1-2:13 I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
3:1-17 III. How Can a Christian Reside in a Hostile Culture?
4:1-22 IV. How Can a Christian Remain Faithful to Christ?
Vs.1-5 A. Put first things first “preach the word”
Vs.6-8 B. Focus on the joy of our reward “crown of righteousness”
Vs.9-15 C. Ask others for help “come to me soon”
Vs.16-18 D. Have confidence in God’s plan “The Lord stood with me and strenghened me”
Vs.19-22 E. Encourage fellow believers
The theme for this whole book is summed up in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity,[or fear or cowardice] but of power and love and discipline.[or sound thinking] (NAU)
A careful reading of this book shows that Paul comes back to the ideas of power, love, and discipline over and over again. I want to show you that he ends this book alluding to these three truths again as he prepare to lay down his quill for the last time.
Vs.19-20,21b 1. Encourage them to display God’s love “Greet...”
Paul lived his entire Christian life wanting to see the whole world changed by the Gospel, and yet he never lost sight of the importance of individuals. Here he takes the time to mention some close friends by name. A good shepherd deals with his sheep individually. Jesus said He, “calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3 NAU)
Prisca and Aquilla were longtime friends of Paul’s. He met them in Corinth and then later in Ephesus. At one point they met him in Rome and were now back in Ephesus. Onesiphorus was one of his most faithful friends. 2 Timothy 1:16 The Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains; (NAU)
Erastus lived in Corinth and was the city’s treasurer. (Romans 16:23)
Paul met Trophimus in Jerusalem, but he was from Ephesus. (Acts 21:29)
The people that Paul listed in verse 21 were probably Roman Christians. Eubulus is not mentioned anywhere else. Prudens may have been a Roman senator, according to secular history. Linus may have been the man who became a pastor in Rome several years later. Some historians believe that Claudia was Prudens’ wife who was the daughter of a British king.
Have you ever gone to visit someone who was suffering and walked away getting more encouragement than you gave? That would have been the case if you had gone to visit Paul while he was in prison. Notice that Paul not only ends his letter encouraging Timothy, he has been doing it consistently.
How Can We Display God’s Love to Others?
1:2-4 Verbalize your love to them
2 Timothy 1:2-4 2 To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. (NAU)
Paul was a man’s man, but he did not mind saying how much he cared about Timothy. There is the joke about two old farmers who were talking about a friend of theirs. One of them said, “He loves his wife so much that he almost tells her.”
Paul not only appreciated Timothy, he was careful to tell Timothy how he felt.
Paul had the advantage of knowing that he was going to die soon. How tragic to appreciate someone, but then wait too late to say it. Clarence Macartney preached a very famous sermon here in Philadelphia in the early 1900’s titled “Come Before Winter.” I have a copy if you would like to read it. The point of that sermon was to highlight the danger of waiting to obey. We don’t know if Timothy came to Rome “before winter” of if he got busy and wound up coming to Rome after Paul’s death.
1:13-14 Focus your faith on God’s love