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Paul has used this chapter to give human examples of how to have joy. He begins with the example of Jesus. Then he uses himself [drink offering of v. 17]
I'm a little intimidated! Maybe the Holy Spirit knew these are big shoes to fill. He now proceeds to give 2 more practical examples: Timothy and Epaphroditus.
Timothy is Paul's young protégé which he is mentoring. Paul later writes two letters to him in the books which bear his name.
v. 22 He loved him like a son!
He probably first met him in Lystra on his first missionary trip. It was there in modern day Turkey that Paul was stoned and left for dead. Was Timothy there to witness this? If not, he certainly would have been aware of the event.
Timothy was known for his family life, with a godly mother and grandmother.
Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
She was like a single parent, spiritually. This should be an encouragement to some of our own who walk that path.
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
'Unfeigned' = not faint, or real! They lived at home what they were challenged in church. They were sincere and consistent, and so they obviously had a profound impact on young Timothy.
Young people are leaving the church at an astounding rate...for a variety of reasons. But oh how often it is because they had parents that were one way at church and yet different at home.
I can fool a lot of you, but my kids know who I am!
If they see you patting me on the back after the sermon and then grilling me on the way home, it will have a deep impact on them.
Lesson: Have your 'roast preacher' in private!
If they see you giving a testimony about how you love your church but then miss services for any excuse that comes along, it will affect them.
And what we adults allow in moderation, our kids will abuse in excess.
"Just a little foul language / nudity / arguing / lie"
Timothy saw in his home a real faith, and he chose to follow it. They weren't perfect, but sincere and consistent.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
From childhood he was taught the Bible in the home, and so he was saved at an early age. Certainly that would have been a home with prayer in the air. What an environment to grow up in!
ill.--what happened in church Sunday? Oh, it was a normal day. One got saved. Just a little kid. No adults.
Just a little kid? It was just a little kid, Timothy, that grew up to be Paul's right hand man!
ill.--a preacher did a 2 week revival in Texas over a hundred years ago. Only one little boy got saved. The preacher felt like a failure for having a long meeting with only one convert. Little George [Truett] grew up to be a mighty pastor of First Baptist in Dallas for about 50 years!
ill.--DL Moody's wife asked him one night how many got saved. "2 and a half." Oh, she said, two adults and a child? "No, two children and an adult!"
The kids have their entire life to live for Jesus!
1. A submissive mind.
v. 22 'the proof'
The training of a servant!
Paul wants Timothy to go help the church in Philippi. He could send him now. But he wasn't fully ready. So he mentored him for the ministry, sending Epaphroditus instead. Timothy was more gifted, and better raised, and probably felt ready to go, but he needed to be proven first.
Many a young minister has been ruined by being thrown into the deep end too early. [become deacon/s.s. teacher too soon] Even success can ruin a young man who hasn't built the character and fortitude it takes to stand long term. If you are given too much too quickly, without spending the time and discipline to earn your keep, you can quickly burn out like a roman candle.
But if we let these also 'first be proved', they can develop into a jet engine that can be refueled in mid-air!