2 Timothy 1

Author

Rick Olson

Scripture

2 Timothy 1:1-18

Observation

V 3-7 This is a very personal message from Paul to Timothy.  Paul was closely involved in Timothy’s spiritual life, and is using that personal connection to encourage Timothy.  I am sure that Paul knew that Timothy knew that the gifts were for service, and so he encourages Timothy to diligently use his gift, and so to continue in his calling to serve the body of Christ.

V 8-12 This is a very packed passage.  The main theme seems to be to give Timothy encouragement in the light of various suffering that was being experienced by Paul and also by Timothy.  Apparently, there was an idea going around that you shouldn’t be experiencing suffering if God approved of the path you were walking. (This is a common misunderstanding today, too.)  So, if Paul was in prison, or if people in the church were experiencing persecution, then Paul’s message was suspect.  Paul is giving Timothy a spiritual perspective on suffering, rather than merely an emotional one.  In verse 8-9 Paul gives Timothy the perspective that suffering is not something to be avoided at all cost, but something that is to be lived “according to the power of God… in Christ Jesus”.  He doesn’t enumerate the reasons.

V 13 Then, Paul completes the thoughts of v 8-12, by encouraging Timothy to be an advocate for this “spiritual approach” to suffering when he encourages him to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide him in his public teaching ministry.

V 15-18 Paul gives an example of living this way in the person of Onesiphorus, whose life reflected an attitude of service, and not of being a victim of suffering.

Application

  • How often I let adverse circumstances become my perspective.  I need to maintain the attitude that I am to live my life “according to the power of God… in Christ Jesus”.  He will walk with me each step of my life’s journey, whether that journey includes suffering or rejoicing.
  • By maintaining that perspective, and seeking to let the Holy Spirit lead me in every life situation, I am freed to serve others without feeling like I am being deprived of anything.  I can let God, through Christ, provide what I need, and still have plenty left over to share.

Prayer

Father, I desire to live my life by faith.  Draw me close to you so that I feel your guidance moment by moment.  And, when my circumstances cause me to neglect your presence and grace, draw me closer still.  Redeem my efforts to walk with you despite my circumstances into opportunities to help others grow in Christ and to shed His light in a world that desperately needs you.

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Yes Rick,
Being free to serve others without feeling as though I have been deprived of anything is a goal I strive for, how quickly comparison and expectations creep into my thinking and into my service tainting my heart and restricting what God desires to accomplish. It is always sweeter to be intimately joined in fellowship with God in His purpose, so much more satisfying to understand his pleasure and to experience his presence without the fog of self. At times God even pulls back the curtain and gives me a glimpse of his purpose and plan - even seeing the fruit - while serving Him.

Sat, July 11, 2015 @ 8:19 AM

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