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Surely, there is a lot to learn from Timothy but this can also be seen in two major ways: a) How Timothy conducted himself b) How Timothy related with Paul in the work of God. How Timothy conducted himself (character) Timothy's character is one to be admired, when you read how Paul addresses Timothy, the following will cross your mind; 1) Timothy was humble 2) He was a willing learner 3) Committed He was humble No one loves it when they deal with people who will not listen to them, people who are unruly, and people who disregard others. To be listening, submissive and respectful of others are virtues which are reminiscent of a humble person. When you read 2Timothy 2:1-2, Paul addresses Timothy as his son and on that account, he gives him instructions and by this, you get the true picture of a Timothy who will willingly listen and take the message and use it the way he is supposed to. Equally so, in this scripture, you can feel the comfort and confidence Paul has when he is addressing Timothy on a range of issues. Humility does not come with age or anything, for it is a character formed. For you may argue that by virtue of Paul's age over Timothy, Timothy was supposed to humble himself before Paul, that is not true. We have witnessed younger people who disrespect their elders. Timothy was truly a humble young man. Willing learner Paul addresses Timothy in two epistles. In both of these, from the first page to the last, Paul is teaching Timothy on both personal and ministerial matters. Once again, how Paul addresses Timothy when you read these epistles, you can feel the comfort between the two; one willing to be a teacher, and that is Paul, more over a Jew. The other willing to be a learner and that is Timothy who was a Greek. As deep a relationship between a Jew and a Greek! In 2Timothy 1:5, Paul urges Timothy to take on the faith of his grandmother Lois and that of his mother Eunice. Such a communication must have been of two people who had had confidence in each other. Committed Timothy was a man committed to the work of God. We all know the credentials of the Apostle Paul, a man who had faced several trials while in the ministry of God. We know how he came to accept the Lord. We know how he disagreed with Peter on various issues (Galatians 2:11-14). Such a man to have that much confidence in a younger man like Timothy is a clear indication of how committed Timothy must have been. When you read 1Timothy 6:11-13, you will understand how Paul writes to a man of God he was pretty sure is committed to the work of the gospel of salvation. Paul wrote many more epistles apart from the ones he wrote to Timothy, in most of these epistles, he seems to castigate a people who seem to have left the true teachings of Christ, but when it comes to writing to Timothy, he is simply counseling, polishing an already committed man of God (2Timothy4:1-9). How Timothy related with Paul in the work of God This is also one of the great virtues to learn from Timothy. You will still learn that how Paul addresses Timothy, it is indicative that Timothy is equally a willing partner in the work of God. Paul had misunderstandings with some of the early church ministers such as Demas, Crescens, Titus (2Timothy 4:10) and even with Peter. In 2Timothy 2:2, Paul tells Timothy that all which Paul had passed on to him as a faithful servant of God, he (Timothy) would also get faithful people who would faithfully pass them on to others. By this phrase, to Paul, Timothy was as faithful as to pass on the same information to other faithful people. There is no other person who Paul sounds to have as much confidence as he does in Timothy! In all this, you can envisage that Paul is addressing a willing partner in the work of God. Paul had open confidence in Timothy. Confidence is built not acquired! The life of Timothy and his relationship with his spiritual father Paul should be an excellent example of ministers of God today.
This question “What should we learn from the life of Timothy?” could be ask to confirm a church can have a chief pastor to lead the congregation or the church must have plurality of elders leading the church of the scriptures. I content the latter. My observation of Timothy is he was a worthy Apostle assistant Timothy’s role was required to assist the apostles in the start-up of the church. Taking instructions from Paul to insure solid foundation was laid before they died out. In Romans 16:21, He was Paul's “fellow worker” So we have the church with its elders and Paul with his representative Timothy What was outstanding of Timothy life was he was often left for a time in one place or sent ahead to another by Paul the Apostle. Act 17:14 With the help of his friends, Paul gave them the slip--caught a boat and put out to sea. Silas and Timothy stayed behind. Act 17:15 The men who helped Paul escape got him as far as Athens and left him there. Paul sent word back with them to Silas and Timothy: "Come as quickly as you can!" Act 18:5 When Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was able to give all his time to preaching and teaching, doing everything he could to persuade the Jews that Jesus was in fact God's Messiah.; Act 19:22 He sent two of his assistants, Timothy and Erastus, on to Macedonia while he stayed for a while and wrapped things up in Asia. 1Co 4:17 This is why I sent Timothy to you earlier. He is also my dear son, and true to the Master. He will refresh your memory on the instructions I regularly give all the churches on the way of Christ. Php 2:19 I plan (according to Jesus' plan) to send Timothy to you very soon so he can bring back all the news of you he can gather. Oh, how that will do my heart good! 1Th 3:2 and sent Timothy to get you up and about, cheering you on so you wouldn't be discouraged by these hard times. He's a brother and companion in the faith, God's man in spreading the Message, preaching Christ. 1Th 3:6 But now that Timothy is back, bringing this terrific report on your faith and love, we feel a lot better. It's especially gratifying to know that you continue to think well of us, and that you want to see us as much as we want to see you! All the places where Timothy ministered was where Paul was on his way to or just left. This I see was Timothy’s purpose. After the foundation was laid all written down instructions were also preserved. No more apostle to convey info to church via a representative. The elders must work of the letters and the good thing about it is because they work in plurality as evident in the scriptures, they can check up on each other so they may stay true to the doctrine of the apostles and prophets once laid down for the saints. Jud 1:3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
Paul had no other companion so “like-minded” as Timothy, who enjoyed Paul’s constant instruction (2 Tim. 2:3; 3:14 "But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it." --Lockyer Paul wrote him 2 letters, in the second of which he issued an extended exhortation to endurance (2 Tim. 1:6-2:13). This exhortation begins with a powerful call to gospel-centered endurance (2 Tim. 1:6-14) R. Kent Hughes Paul thought Timothy needed to know this about his Savior, Jesus (2 Timothy 1:9-10) A. He has redeemed and called us to a holy life (2 Timothy 1:9a). B. He did this by His grace before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9b). C. He has destroyed death and has introduced eternal life (2 Timothy1:10) Harold Wilmington Timothy, the recipient of Paul's 2nd letter to him, needed encouragement to be faithful. So the Apostle Paul wrote these words to him, in 2 Timothy 1:9 "God has saved us. He has chosen us to live a holy life. It wasn’t because of anything we have done. It was because of his own purpose and grace. Through Christ Jesus, God gave us this grace even before time began." Verse 10 "It has now been made known through the coming of our Savior, Christ Jesus. He has broken the power of death. Because of the good news, he has brought life out into the light. That life never dies." How should we respond to Paul's teaching to Timothy about God's grace in salvation? Away, for the shadows of night are approaching, Then lose not His blessings that fall like the dew; Still, still He is waiting and tenderly calling, O brother, the Savior is calling for you. --Fanny J. Crosby
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