Summary: Paul writes to his student and friend Timothy, reminding him not to quit in the face of adversity, but to fan into flame his gifts, mission, and ministry
Living A Life That is Built To Last
2 Timothy 1 : 1-7
The Big Idea: Paul writes to his student and friend Timothy, reminding him not to quit in the face of adversity, but to fan into flame his gifts, mission, and ministry.
“A man was shoveling snow from his driveway when two boys carrying snow shovels approached him. “Can we shovel your snow mister?” one of them asked. “Only two dollars!” Puzzled the man replied, “Can’t you see that I’m doing it myself.” “Sure,” said one of the enterprising young men, “that’s why we asked. We get most of our business from people who are half through and feel like quitting.” [Warren Wiersbe. Be Daring. (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1989) p. 56].
How many times have you felt like quitting? Quitting your family, your job, your church, how about the Lord? I know, we don’t like to admit it do we? But when we look at Timothy we find a man that could have quit but didn’t.
Today we continue our study of II Timothy. Paul is writing his final letter to his young pastor friend and student timothy. This is Paul’s last word and testament to timothy. He gives his final instructions to a young pastor about to embark on his first solo pastorate.
Paul is aware of the pressure that timothy was facing. Timothy was pastoring a church that was experiencing intense persecution from the Roman Government. In addition, there were false teachers plaguing the church, instilling heretical teachings into the minds of these already stressed out believers.
Plus there was the constant worry that timothy was facing in the reality that Paul, his beloved father in the faith would soon be gone for good.
Can you spell ANXIETY? If timothy were to take a modern stress test, he would no doubt be prescribed anti depressant pills and spend time on a counselors couch receiving intense therapy. Would you blame Timothy, if he could text Paul and simply tell him,
‘See ya later Pops, I’m outta here”?
Paul understands from a personal level the overwhelming temptation to want to throw in the towel. He reflects upon his experiences and trials when he write to the Corinthians,
11We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. (2 Cor.1:11)
That was written at least three decades before he wrote this final word to timothy.
This little letter is for everyone tempted to throw in the towel . The message is a simple one: IT’S TOO SOON TO QUIT!
Paul introduces this personal letter, by identifying himself as the Apostle. He is deliberate to add, that this title was not by chance or personal choice, but rather “By the WILL OF GOD. Paul did not choose his profession, rather it was God’s PURPOSE for him.
Further, the intention of God’s plan was according to the PROMISE OF LIFE, and finally the source of this life is in CHRIST JESUS.
What does this mea for you and me?
God’s PLAN is that you would live in His PROMISE of a LIFE THAT IS BUILT TO LAST. The SOURCE of this life is in Jesus Christ alone.
Paul appeals to three REMINDERS to encourage Timothy to not give up. The first reminder Paul tells Timothy to consider is,
I. REMEMBER YOUR GODLY HERITAGE
“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy
Paul opens with a prayer of thanksgiving, reminding Timothy of his past loyalty, faith, and godly heritage. Paul recalls Timothy’s tears and remembers him in prayer. How many have ever told someone, after they have unloaded their weeks trials, “I wil remember you in prayer.” How many do?
We use that phrase almost like a period at the end of a sentence. But for Paul, prayer was not merely an action he performed occasionally. Prayer was a way of life for Paul. The word is in the present tense which indicates a continual, unbroken habit of life .( FULL LIFE BIBLE COMMENTARY)
Do you know what this tells me? Paul loved and cared for timothy in practical ways. There is no greater practical way you can help someone, than by praying for them and with them.
N concert with prayer, Paul says he is reminded of timothy’s tears. This tells me that Paul was not afraid to enter into Timothy’s life and struggles. HE fulfilled the admonition found in Galatians 6:3