2 Timothy 2:1-13
Doing something for the first time can be very hard. Speaking in public. Preaching my first sermon. First day on a new job. Substitute teacher. (“What am I doing here?”) Soldier going into battle – very scary. Continuing to work on a goal, dream or project and not succeeding can also be very hard.
Timothy was the son of a Greek father and Jewish mother (and grandmother) who taught him the ways of God. When the church was started in Lystra by Paul, Timothy was soon recognized as a good candidate for the ministry. He was recruited by Paul on his second missionary journey to be ordained into the ministry (I Timothy 4:14). After spending time “under Paul’s wing”, Timothy was given greater responsibilities in various churches that Paul had started. Paul mentions him in eight of his letters (plus Hebrews). It is believed that Timothy invested most of his life in the work in Ephesus and is believed to have died there.
It is believed that Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy while he was imprisoned in Rome. The second letter was believed to have been written in his second imprisonment. He writes to encourage Timothy to remain strong in his calling after he (Paul) is gone. What does he tell this young preacher and how does that apply to us?
1. Hold to the TRUTH. 2 Timothy 2:1-2
Be strong and teach others by your words and actions. John 8:31-32; Matthew 16:18; Matthew 7:1-2, 13, 15, 20
We are in a time when people are abandoning God’s truths for man-made ideas that are full of sin and corruption. This happened throughout Israel’s history and is happening before our eyes in this nation today.
How do we, as a small group, amount to any value in the Kingdom of God? Our strength is in holding to the truths of Scripture and teaching them everywhere we can (including our various outreach ministries). We seek to communicate in love, but we must not compromise what God says is right or wrong.
2. TRIALS won’t last forever. 2 Timothy 2:3-9, 10;
Endure everything. We often try to think and teach that by being a Christian, we won’t have difficulties in life. All of our problems will be gone. Tell me one Apostle, or one Christian, even today, that has not gone through difficulties or suffering? Rejection, divorce, firing, failing to get a project started, going or sustaining, health issues – we have all been there or are there or will soon be there.
We often get caught up in our troubles as if we are the only one suffering and there is something wrong with our faith because we are having to go through this problem. I Corinthians 10:21 – there is nothing you are suffering that others have not suffered and endured. Don’t wear others out with your constant displeasure at the circumstances you are suffering. Proverbs 19:13; 27:15; Numbers 11:1; Philippians 2:14
Don’t accept DEFEAT. A soldier does not quit in the middle of a battle if he is going to survive and win. An athlete will not win if he stops competing. If a farmer wants a harvest, he must plant, water, WAIT and reap. But you don’t get paid until you Win, Finish or Reap.
William Wilberforce struggled for 44 years to get slavery outlawed in England. Thomas Edison failed around 10,000 times to invent the light bulb. Many rockets failed to get beyond our atmosphere before we sent the first man into space. I have labored for 21 years to produce and promote a Bible study on every event in the life of Christ as discipleship training. I’m still waiting (and working).
James 1:12; Galatians 6:9. All this will pass.
3. One day we will REIGN with CHRIST. 2 Timothy 2:10-13.
Only one day, will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last. Reigning with Christ brings all the benefits of Christ – eternal life, perfect health, strength, freedom from want or hunger, financial lack, any and every kind of unhappiness. Revelation 7:14-17; 21:1-6, 27
2 Timothy 4:6-8 – We have the same promise Paul gave to Timothy.
Revelation 1:5b-6 – reign forever.
Trials WILL come. Hold to the truth of Christ. Stay Strong
Stay strong in your faith that Jesus died for your sin.
Stay strong in your fight to recognizing temptation and turning away from sin.
Stay strong in your commitment to serve God in the ways that you can.
Stay strong in your stand for Christ when the world is trying to silence you.