2 Timothy 2.1-2 – Encourage Your Pastor

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

Paul starts this passage by encouraging Timothy in his pastoral duties; be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. If you have ever known a pastor personally you will know that they need this encouragement to be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Their burdens will be plentiful and privately carried, they will work tirelessly yet be chronically misunderstood, and they will forever try to see the best in people despite being let down by many, often. For this reason, friends, encourage your pastor!

After this initial encouragement, Paul hits Timothy with a pastoral responsibility that we can all either put into action or receive; what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

This has got to be right up there on your pastor’s list – taking the core and right doctrines of the faith and entrusting them to faithful men and women (ἀνθρώποις can refer to men or women depending on the context) who can then teach others also

Here is a point with which you can encourage your pastor; we know that not everything in church is your job. We know that it is your job to teach with words, ways, actions, and reactions the right and proper doctrines of the faith. We know that the call on your life is a holy and sacred one and you are given to our church as a gift from from God (not sure about that? Read Ephesians 4.11 and notice who ‘he gave’ is referring back to…vv.8-10), and we know that we must join you as the many witnesses and the faithful men and women who [are] able to teach others also.

Take a moment today to encourage a faithful pastor in your life, perhaps someone who is rightly dividing and handling the Word of Truth, someone who is passing on the orthodox teachings that Timothy heard from Paul, and someone who you can partner with in ministry to teach others also.

2 Timothy 1.15-18 – Intentional Blessing

Sometimes we see stories on the news of a passer-by providing some seemingly miraculous help because they were in the right place at the right time. More often, however, those who we feel help and refresh us and bring benefit to our lives are there very intentionally, because they want to be, because they have worked hard to be. 

15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— 18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.

We see Paul being really consistent with what he teaches about those who sin whilst in prominent positions (1 Timothy 5.20), in that he names and rebukes Phygelus and Hermogenes publicly and openly. Rather than be content to just call out others on their turning away, Paul goes on to name and praise Onesiphorus (whose name means “help bringer”) for the intentional refreshment that he gives.

We read that he often refreshed Paul, that he searched for Paul earnestly and found him, and that his service is known among the believing community (you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus).

From the example of Onesiphorus we see that we ought to be people of intentional blessing.

We should be people who intentionally and often refresh others with our presence, our words, and our actions.

We should be people who intentionally search out those that we know need encouragement and blessing.

We should be people whose service is so intentional and frequent that others know about it and can speak of us by saying “Oh that’s _____, what a great servant of the Lord he/she is.

Today then, pause and take a moment and think;

Who can I intentionally bless? Who can I search out and encourage? Who needs my service today?

May we all be an Onesiphorus today and intentionally bless someone, as the ultimate Help Bringer intentionally cast aside His heavenly glory and location to live, serve, die, and rise among us. 

2 Timothy 1.8-14 – Who Is Jesus?

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. 13 Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

There are many, many passages in the Bible that talk of who Jesus is (John 1, 10.30, Isaiah 9.6, Titus 2.13, John 20.28…). Upon reading this passage in 2 Timothy, although there is lots going on, what shone through was this description of Jesus, did you notice it?

…[God]saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…

We see that God saved us based on nothing we did (not because of our works), but based purely on His own purpose and grace. This rings true with the words of Ephesians 2.8-9 wherein we read 

“…by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

The description of Jesus, then, is found next and we read that He manifests this purpose and grace of God.

…[God]saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel…

So, we want to know what God is doing and what He is like, we look at Jesus.

We want to know what the grace of God is like, we look at Jesus.

Very simply, Jesus reveals the purpose and grace of God.

Who is Jesus? He is the revelation of God, He is the Word of God in human flesh, He is the revelation of God’s purpose and grace. Look to Him today.

2 Timothy 1.6-7 – Fan Into Full Flame

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Paul begins by saying for this reason, so we know we need to look back a few words. So, because of the faith that was in Timothy (v.5), Paul encouraged him to cooperate and communicate with the Lord and for this reason…fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands…It seems that Paul had prayed over Timothy, laid hands on him, and conferred and confirmed the Lord’s gifting in Timothy.

Paul then goes on to say that the reason Timothy should do this, the reason he should take the faith that lives in him and boldly fan into full flame the gifts God has given him is because God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control

David Guzik writes on this,

In 1 and 2 Timothy there are no less than 25 different places where Paul encouraged Timothy to be bold, to not shy away from confrontation, to stand up where he needs to stand up and be strong. Because of who Timothy was and the responsibilities he had to bear, this was what Timothy needed to hear.

The chain of connection is clear; faith > gifts > boldness > power-love-self-control.

The Word of God speaks clearly about the fact that we are all gifted by the Lord (Ephesians 4.10-16). This gifting is to be used boldly because God has given us a spirit of power and love and self-control.

The giftings of God are not to be hidden away – we have been given a spirit of power.

The giftings of God are not to be used to control others – we have been given a spirit of love.

The giftings of God are not to be abused and misused – we have been given a spirit of self-control.

Pause and think – what has God gifted you to do?

What are you good at? How do you best serve people?

I would encourage you today to think on this, then with the faith that dwells in you fan it into full flame with the spirit of power and love and self-control that God has given us. 

2 Timothy 1.1-5 – Encouragement

2 Timothy is generally held to be Paul’s last letter, written from Roman imprisonment and full of urgency and passion, which you might expect given his incarceration and impending execution. 

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

He begins by stating that he is an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. This was the role Paul was given in the Lord’s master plan, and Paul often began letters by stating this (1 Timothy 1.1, Galatians 1.1…). Unique to 2 Timothy however is him saying according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus. Again, given his impending execution at the hands of the Romans, the promise of life in Christ Jesus must have seemed especially important.

Paul then offers grace, mercy, and peace to Timothy, and interestingly he only offers mercy when writing to Timothy and Titus (1 Timothy 1.2, Titus 1.4), the two pastors/ministers to receive letters from Paul. In his general letters to Christian congregations, Paul usually offers grace and peace, but reserves the mercy for the ministers. 

We see that Paul is praying for Timothy night and day, and that he longs to see him, that he may be filled with joy. He thinks of Timothy’s faith, Timothy’s family, and is encouraged.

Paul is such a staunch supporter of Timothy, and we all need someone like this in our lives, don’t we.

Who is that person for you? Who is that person who is praying for you night and day? Who is that person who thanks God for you? Who is that person who takes great joy from being with you? We all need someone like this in our lives, don’t we. 

But think about this – who can you be that person for

Who can you pray for, night and day?

Who can you thank God for?

Who can you bless by simply being around?

We all need to be that someone for another, don’t we. 

Today then, no matter whether you are being blessed by that someone, or whether you are filling the role of that someone, let us rest easy in the role that God has given us according to His will, let us do our best to manifest to others the life that is in Christ Jesus