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Journey Through 2nd Timothy: 2 Timothy 1:3-7

2 Timothy 1:3-7

New American Standard Bible

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. 5 For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelled in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. 6 For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.

Paul was thankful for Timothy. He was his spiritual son. Timothy was carrying on the work that Paul had begun in Ephesus. They had traveled together often and during those travels, Paul had grown close to Timothy. Paul faced many struggles and trials in his own life. When he reflected on the life of Timothy and the man, he became it brought great joy to Paul. Whenever we have invested great time and attention in anyone it brings incredibly joy to see that individual grow in Christ and step into the anointing that God has for them.

Paul served with a clear conscience. Paul had done all that Christ had asked of him during his earthly life. It doesn’t mean that Paul was a perfect man. But he served Christ with a zeal that few others possess. Paul went from being a man who tried to destroy the church and the name of Christ, to a man who honored and cherished the name of Jesus and who God used to write a majority of the New Testament. Paul knew the law backward and forward and lived life according to the law. His forefathers would have lived according to the law, and this is how Paul lived his life. But ultimately, he knew that his righteousness was not found in keeping the law, it was found in the finished work of Christ. But Paul was a man of integrity and a man who lived by the word of God. His conscience was clear because compromise had no place in the apostle Paul.

Paul constantly remembered Timothy in his prayer’s night and day. Paul understood the power of prayer and the authority he possessed in Christ. Paul would often pray for all the churches he established because he understood the reality of spiritual warfare (Eph 6:10-18). This world is not our home, it is broken and marred by sin. We face battles every day and where we find victory and kingdom advancement is through the spiritual weapons that God has given us. Paul truly loved Timothy as a father and when Paul would pray for Timothy, the love he had for him was demonstrated in the prayers he prayed. One of the greatest things we can do for someone we are discipling is to pray for them night and day. It is important to set aside time in the course of a day to dedicate it to prayer. When we set aside time unto the Lord for uninterrupted undistracted prayer, we will see great things accomplished for God’s kingdom. God tells us to pray without ceasing because we face battles daily.

Paul had not seen Timothy for some time. He was most likely dealing with the loneliness of being in a dark prison dungeon. Paul’s first imprisonment had been under house arrest where he was able to have visitors and do ministry. In his second imprisonment before he was to give his life for Jesus Christ, he was now chained alone in a dark prison cell. He longed to see Timothy not only because of his love for Timothy, but also his desire for Christian fellowship.

The tears Paul speaks of may have to do with the last time these two men had spent time together. As the reality of Paul going to prison and they not being able to see one another again. Christianity is not easy, and it requires that we rely on the Lord each step of the journey. The enemy will throw everything at us to try to knock us from the path and journey God has us on. This can come in the form of discouragement, but Paul knew the importance of finding his strength in Christ. For in our weakness His strength is perfected (2 Cor 12:8-10). No matter what level of suffering we are called to face for Jesus Christ, the Lord in His grace will enable us to overcome. But the key is drawing near to Christ. But we see here how important it is to pray for those who face imprisonment for Jesus. As we pray for them, they will be strengthened for all that they face from the enemy.

The word sincere here that Paul uses means without hypocrisy or genuine. Timothy possessed true Christian faith. It was not an emotional response to a message, but a true work of the Holy Spirit in the mind and heart of Timothy. Some today depending on what they are going through in a moment may have an emotional response to the gospel. But for the person who is truly saved and born again it will be evident in their life. The fruit of the Holy Spirit will show that they have truly made a commitment to Jesus Christ. This is the faith that was found in Timothy.

The faith found in Timothy was first found in his grandmother and his mother. Most likely his grandmother had come to saving faith in Jesus Christ first. Timothy’s father is not mentioned because he may not have been a follower of Jesus Christ. The influence that both Timothy’s grandmother and mother had on his life cannot be understated. The impact that a faithful grandparent or parent can have on the next generation can be far reaching. Often times in churches those who are older may relegate themselves to the sideline to simply watch and observe what is taking place. But in God’s kingdom there are no spectators. Regardless of our age, if we truly love Christ and desire to impact lives for Him, there will be an opportunity. Especially in the next generation that is continually bombarded by lie and deception, teaching and sowing the word of God into their lives is vitally important.

Paul tells Timothy to kindle afresh the gift of God. Does this mean that Timothy’s fire for the Lord went out? Does it mean that somehow Timothy had backslidden? The answer is no. Ministry is not easy and there are daily challenges for the person who would take up the call and anointing of God and serve the Lord faithfully. Timothy had been publicly ordained and recognized as a minister of the gospel by the laying of hands of the elders (1 Timothy 4:14). It wasn’t that Timothy received his authority from man, the elders, or even Paul for that matter. But Timothy had been prayed over and not only that they had prophesied over him concerning his call and his ministry. Everything we do for God is done by the power and work of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers and equips us for ministry.

To fan the flame or kindle afresh the gift of God is done through daily time spent in God’s word and in prayer. It is a result of abiding in Christ. If you have ever sat around a campfire and it has gone out or died down, you don’t through a bunch of huge logs on the fire and expect it to simply start up again. It is much easier to continually feed a fire to keep it going than to wait for it to go out or die down and to restart it. There are spiritual disciplines that must be developed in our lives to see the purposes of God accomplished in our lives. Just like a well-trained athlete who doesn’t miss workouts and who eats right according to the direction of their trainers, the spiritual warrior and leader must be committed to the spiritual disciplines that are essential in the life of a servant of Jesus Christ.

God has not given us a spirit of fear. Timothy faced fear not only because of challenges he faced based on his age but also challenges he faced as a leader who was following in Paul’s footsteps and his desire to hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ. When one chooses to preach the gospel, there will be satanic opposition. This opposition will often come in the form of fear and false accusation. Those who are used by the enemy are deceived and won’t even know they are being used by the enemy. But as a minister of the gospel, we must have our eyes fixed upon Jesus and not the challenges or trials we are facing.

The power, love, and self-control or discipline Paul speaks of are all a result of being led and guided by The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s desire is for us to draw near to God and find our strength in Him. The word power here is the Greek word Dynamis and it means possession of controlling influence; often understood as manifesting influence over reality in a supernatural manner.[1] It is supernatural power that is provided by The Holy Spirit. It is not inherently found in the individual. In ourselves we are weak, broken, and unqualified to be used by God. But because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ and the work and power of The Holy Spirit we are not only qualified, we are empowered for all that God has called us to do.

Love is the Greek word agape and it means a strong positive emotion of regard and affection[2]. The love we have is given to us by Jesus. It is a sacrificial love that is a result of will and decision. It was manifested at Calvary. Jesus asked three times if this cup could pass from Him, but He said not my will but yours be done. This is the love that is manifested and made available in the servant of Jesus Christ. As the Holy Spirit fills our lives, this love fills us. Therefore Paul says to kindle afresh because it is only through our continually union with Christ that this is even possible.

Discipline is the Greek word sophronismos and it means the causing of someone to become wise[3]. We have not been given a spirit of fear but of discipline. Those who are under the leading and guidance of The Holy Spirit will have a mind that is under the control of the Spirit. The true transformation in the believer’s life happens when their life is under the control and influence of The Holy Spirit. Before coming to Christ, we are under the dominion of darkness and under the influence and guidance of the devil. There are many who have spent their lives either destroying themselves or others because they are under the influence of the devil. But when we come to Christ, we are a brand-new creation (2 Cor 5:17). The old has gone and the new has come. We are called to rely on and be led by The Holy Spirit. Paul knew Timothy was currently facing challenges and would do so in the future. But the key in His life for kingdom success and advancement was the work and person of The Holy Spirit. As Timothy focused on growing in Christ and seeking first God’s kingdom, everything else would supernaturally fall into place. The only thing we truly have control over in this life is how diligently we seek the Lord and how much we choose to abide in Him.

[1] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020). [2] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020). [3] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020).

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