Learning Boldness

Timothy’s life is instructive as we learn to live worship-filled lives in 2015. He certainly demonstrates a worship-filled life even though we have not yet seen him in a formal worship setting!

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Serving Despite Timidity

God gave Timothy the pastor-teacher gift and expected him to exercise it despite his natural timidity. In time, Timothy grew into an expansive ministry as the overseer of pastors in Ephesus. Sometimes we are called to minister outside our gift set, though we may be uncomfortable. Timothy is an example to all believers to push past those natural hesitancies in service of the Gospel.

Learning from the Apostle Paul

Timothy is listed as a co-sender of multiple epistles: Thessalonians, Philippians, Philemon, and Colossians. Paul describes him as a brother and “fellow worker” in 1 Thessalonians 3:2, 2 Corinthians 1:1, Philippians 2:19-23, and Philemon 1.

Each of Paul’s letters were written to a specific audience for a specific purpose. Paul included Timothy’s name because he had embraced his message and teaching. What lessons did Timothy learn from each of these epistles?

  • Thessalonians – This was the most persecuted church to whom Paul wrote, yet they thrived early in their existence. Within 18 months, they had a global testimony! Timothy was sent to this church to take a pulse of their stability and faith.
  • Philemon – This short letter is all about forgiveness.
  • Corinthians – Timothy learned how to deal with immoral Christians by watching Paul write these letters. He saw the importance of standing for the truth no matter the cost.
  • Colossians – The sufficiency of Christ saturates a believer’s life in all areas: worship, domestic, work, and evangelism. Doctrine always overflows into practice.
  • Philippians – Timothy was present when this church started with the conversion of Lydia. This letter teaches the value of churches working together for the furtherance of the Gospel.

Timothy was learning how to function as a Christian even before he was a pastor. Boldness is not the absence of timidity. It is a disposition we can exude only by God’s grace. If we wait until the fear goes away, we will never act in obedience. God’s grace is always sufficient to carry us through ministry responsibilities.

Virtue #4: Ministry Toughness.

Timothy learned perseverance by grace as he watched his spiritual mentors. He saw Paul and Barnabas return to Lystra after being stoned nearly to death. Their mission was centered around truth, not seeking people’s praise. True servant-leaders prioritize the perpetuation of God’s Word. Many evangelical churches today have given up this purpose. They have caved to either man-centered pragmatism or religiosity, focusing on rules and standards.

Virtue #5: Prioritizing the Lord while Remaining Submissive to Unsaved Authority.

There are few circumstances in which it is harder for a teenager to honor God than having a saved mother and an unsaved father. Yet Scripture carries no record of insubordination in Timothy’s life. We will all experience being under an unsaved authority at some point in our lives. We must respecting these God-ordained authorities with a Christ-like disposition.

Virtue #6: Responding Well to Saved Authority.

How remarkable that we can find such an example of respecting authority in a teenager! Timothy stayed spirit-filled whether he was dealing with saved or unsaved authority. His unsaved dad was not around for his ministry at Ephesus, but Timothy’s testimony of submission lasted. This enabled to become the leader of leaders that God desired him to be.

Application Points

  • Have you ever been called to serve outside your area of spiritual gifting? Do you look at some opportunities and think, ‘I could never do that’? Based on Timothy’s example, what should be your response?
  • Are you under any unsaved authority? How can you show respect for their position as God would have you?
  • If you struggle to respect authority of any kind, be transparent. Ask your discipler or find another believer who has had the same struggle. Find out how they overcame this temptation and emulate them.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Romans 1:16, 2 Timothy 1:8 – Don’t be ashamed of the Gospel.
  • 1 Thessalonians 2:4 – God’s servant-leaders don’t seek the praise of people.
  • 1 Peter 2:13-23, Colossians 3:18-24, Ephesians 6:5-8, Titus 3:1-2, 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Romans 13:1-7 – Respecting unsaved authority.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Chosen as His Children”

Chosen by the Father’s mercy,
Set apart to serve His Son,
Sanctified by His own Spirit—
Praise the Holy Three in One!
Saved by resurrection power,
Shielded in His faithful love,
Now no enemy can tarnish
My inheritance above!

I’m born again!
I’m God’s own chosen child of mercy!
Born again! What love and grace!
Father, keep me walking worthy
‘Til I look upon Your face.

Led by wisdom into suffering,
Grieved by many trials below,
Yet rejoicing in His purpose,
That my faith as gold may glow.
Granted faith for overcoming,
Filled with love for Christ unseen;
Even angels cannot fathom
What salvation God will bring!

Fixed upon this hope completely,
As obedient children, fear;
For the Holy One who called you
Purchased you with blood so dear.
Born anew from seed eternal,
By His lovingkindness spurred,
Lay aside all tasteless yearnings—
Crave the true and living Word!

Built on Christ, the sure foundation,
We are free from guilt and shame;
He is fitting us together
As a house to praise His name!
We are chosen as God’s people,
Called from darkness into light;
O what mercy now entreats us
To proclaim His glories bright!