By Pat Russell
Considering the sermon by Pastor Bruce on September 13, 2020
Scripture Reading, 2 Timothy 1:1-12
This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.
2 I am writing to Timothy, my dear son.
May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.
3 Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again. 5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you.
6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.
12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.
After spending time with Paul, learning of his background, hearing of his encounter with Jesus that forever changed his life direction, and finally seeing the overflowing ministry that came out of that encounter, Pastor Bruce now takes us into the depth of relationship that Paul had with the younger Timothy. Paul mentored Timothy.
Paul spoke words of encouragement and love into Timothy’s life. (2 Tim 1:2-4) Paul understood the value of Timothy’s childhood background in terms of who he was as an adult. (2 Tim 1:5-6) Paul trusted Timothy completely as Timothy led the church in Ephesus. (2 Tim 1:8-10) Paul encouraged Timothy in the area that might have been his greatest challenge: fear. (2 Tim 1:7) Paul was an example to Timothy in a time when the world was a threatening place for Jesus’ followers. (2 Tim 1:11-14)
Take time to read this passage again in light of someone(s) in your life that you might encourage this week. Last week, I was thinking about the fact that I am on my way out of this struggling world due to my age, but my nephews and nieces have a long way to go, it would seem. They will face challenges that I only have begun to experience. How can I be of encouragement to them?
In that moment I texted this to my nephew, “Hi Cory. Thinking of you today in all your life roles – father, designer, leader, teacher, friend, husband. I pray God anoints you with his ‘Spirit that gives you power, love, and a sound mind.’” (Timothy) This morning (Sunday), I received this reply, “Thank you Aunt Pat. I appreciate the prayers. When your text came in, I was actually reading about the Holy Spirit! I’m reading Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves. It’s very good. Love you.”
My heart sang! And then my heart sang a second verse of praise when I heard this sermon and the very Scripture verse that I sent to my nephew. Believe me, God will use you as you reach out to others.