1 & 2 Timothy Part Two Dive
THE WHOLISTIC MENTORING SESSION
The Books of 1 & 2 Timothy tell us more about Timothy than he probably wanted to share with the whole world for the next two thousand years. Imagine a letter from your pastor being put on display for all to read… Now that’s embarrassing!
But the thing about this letter is we all feel the same way that Timothy did and what he is facing and the instructions that Paul gives him can help us in our lives today, no matter what nation you are from, no matter what job you do, no matter what age you are – these words will help you. It is a personal mentoring session with the Apostle Paul!
We discovered last week that Timothy is an all-in kind of guy. But even all-in people can get weary in the their well-doing. They can get discouraged, overwhelmed and want to stop being all-in and want to quit. Maybe this is you right now – so keep reading as we discover how Paul got this young minister, this all-in guy, to keep going!
Now you have to remember where Timothy is: Ephesus. If you have studied Ephesians with us, you know that Ephesus was a wealthy commercial city with a rather large temple in it, the Temple of Diana. This temple of Diana (or Artemis) was fiercely guarded, the center of the city and one of the seven wonders of the world at that time. This is the very city that rioted when Paul came to the city, they filled an amphitheatre with people in an uproar over the gospel. You can imagine after seven years of ministry in this town why Timothy is feeling the way he is.
Trashing tip: For some more background, jump into Acts 19 to read about the riots Paul faced when he came to Ephesus!
We find out in this beautiful letter that Timothy is timid, prone to stomach issues because of his diet, he is anxious, and feeling too young to minister in a city like Ephesus. He needed guidance on how to run the church, he had put leaders in place that weren’t working out, he is discouraged in his gifting and ready to quit – anyone been there or felt like that? Maybe that’s you right now. Timothy is for you!
The language of this letter is loving, fatherly and strong – Paul addresses Timothy as ‘my true son in the faith’. There are few people in the Bible that Paul calls his sons; Timothy, Titus and Onesimus are the only ones. So this is a special relationship that Paul and Timothy have. We learnt in the Snapshot videos that Timothy was with Paul for a long time, travelling around. He and Titus were the ones that he sent ahead and left behind in churches they had planted to make sure they were established well and could correct any issues that arose.
Now, this letter is, as we mentioned above, a mentoring session between Timothy and Paul and a letter where you can get instructions for your life today. But even though Paul is concerned about the church in Ephesus, these letters are a great example and speak directly to our lives that we should be healthy in all areas: spiritually, in ministry, emotionally and physically. Paul gives Timothy a holistic make-over in these letters. Let me show just a few examples of the things Paul covers in each area and you can find the rest in your journey into the letters.
1. His Spiritual Life
Paul addresses Timothy’s need to guard and stir up his spiritual life. There is so much he addresses in this letter but Paul focuses mainly on Timothy’s need to know his Word.
Trashing tip: Highlight and study every time Paul speaks to Timothy about being strong in sound doctrine, let me show you some examples.
Paul is passionate that Timothy needs to be solid in the scriptures, not just for him but for the people he is teaching and influencing. Unfortunately, Timothy was prone to neglect his own personal devotional life as a Christian leader (Chapter 4:11-16) and Paul is jumping in to address it.
1 Tim 4:16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
1 Tim 6:11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
2 Tim 1:13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you – guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
As Christians, it is really important to read our Bibles. The Word of God equips us for every good work, so if you want to have a life that bears good fruit in Christ, it’s important to be a person who reads their Bible. It lights our path, gives us life skills and instructions, it empowers and equips us spiritually. This is a great way to keep moving forward and growing in your Christian walk.
2. His Physical Life
This letter is to a Senior Pastor of a very large church but it doesn’t just address his ministry or church logistics, he addresses Timothy’s personal life. This letter shows us that our lives are not just wrapped up in what we do, Paul is concerned with Timothy physically. He is concerned about his health and what he eats as well as his heart and discouragement. Let’s have a look at some of the things Paul addresses in these letters:
Timothy greatly missed Paul and wanted to quit (1 Tim 1:3; 2 Tim 1:4), so Paul encourages him to keep going. Timothy 1:3 'As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines'. If Paul is having to say ‘stay’, when Timothy wants to go!
Timothy had a tendency toward bodily discipline that was actually hurting him physically (1 Tim 4:7-8; 5:23), so Paul teaches Timothy to add a little wine to his water because of his stomach and frequent illnesses – the wine killed all the bacteria in the water so it was healthier to drink.
Timothy had admitted to Paul that ‘youthful temptations’ plagued him, no surprise in godless Ephesus. Look at the advice that Paul gives this young single leader in 2 Timothy 2:22.
3. His Ministry Life
Throughout these letters, you are going to hear the language of guard and charge. Paul is encouraging Timothy to keep going, to not give up, don’t get discouraged in ministry.
We can see in this letter that Timothy is discouraged as a young pastor trying to teach older people (1 Tim 4:12, 5:1-2), he is prone to neglecting his pastoral duties (1 Tim 4:11-16).
1 Tim 4:11 Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and teaching.
2 Tim 1:6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in your through the laying on of my hands.
Can I just focus in on this verse for a second? This verse can be interpreted to fan into flame the individual gifts that God has given you and I have heard it preached that way many times. But, as I study this verse in context with the next verse 2 Tim 1:7, this verse actually means keep the gift of the Holy Spirit within you on fire, keep praying, stir yourself up, allowing the Holy Spirit to keep you in joy, life and strength.
2 Tim 4:2 Preach the word: be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.
Paul is instructing his son to keep going in his ministry - don’t give up. TYB, don’t get weary in all you are doing for God because you are making a difference, you are making an impact, you are appreciated, valued and will be rewarded for all you have done and all you do, so keep going!
4. His Church Life
Paul gives Timothy solid instructions on how to run the church and includes the following:
Addresses false teachers - 1 Timothy 1:3-11
Instructions on worship - 1 Timothy 2 (including prayer)
Correct behaviour of men - 1 Timothy 2:8-10
Correct behaviour of women - 1 Timothy 2:11-15
Qualification for overseers and deacons - 1 Timothy 3
Corrections on false teaching - 1 Timothy 4
Directions on widows, elders and slaves - 1 Timothy 5
5. His Emotional Life
I love the fact that Paul addresses so much in these letters and takes care of every part of Timothy’s life. The last thing I want to highlight is the fact that Timothy battles with discouragement and fear and this leader needs encouragement from Paul to keep going. Timothy misses Paul, he wants to leave and he is plagued with worry. But Paul gives him some of the most incredible instructions, that I myself stand on today! These are going to be your key verses if you face any of the things that Paul faces.
2 Tim 1:6-7 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 the Spirit of God gave us does not make us timid but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
If you are discouraged, let the Holy Spirit burn in you again, let the passion of why you began this journey, your passion for Christ, your passion for His house, your passion for the lost, your passion for social justice, your passion for the Word burn in you afresh. Let the fire come back into what you are doing and you will burn away that discouragement!
Jeremiah 20:9 His word is in my heart like a fire, fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot.
How great is this holistic mentoring session of Paul? Paul knows that Timothy is not just a Senior Pastor, he is not just a physical body, he is not just his emotions, and he is not just a Christian – he is a whole man that needs mentoring and ministry in all areas, so he addresses each in these incredible letters. Sit at the feet of Paul and be mentored by him as you read these letters, let them encourage you where you are right now.
Start your mentoring session with Paul today!