Learning Boldness, Part 2.

Understanding the minutiae of Timothy’s life will help us understand the letters Paul wrote to help him oversee the pastor-shepherds of Ephesus. Timothy knew the Scriptures and came to Christ early in his life (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15). From what we see in Scripture, Timothy was always a timid man. But his life teaches us that timidity is never an excuse not to minister. Everyone experiences a degree of fear when giving the Gospel or ministering publically. We must not let it keep us from obeying God.


Timothy’s Spiritual Suitcase

Timothy had learned many valuable spiritual lessons even before he joined Paul on his second missionary journey. Let’s review the virtues we’ve already seen in his young life:

  • Being willing to associate with pain and Gospel progress
  • Embracing the miraculous power of God to do what only God can do
  • Realizing the praise of people is often empty
  • Persevering in ministry toughness
  • Prioritizing the Lord while remaining submissive to unsaved authority
  • Responding well to saved authority
Virtue #7: Partnering with Ministry Need

In Acts 16:1-2, Paul returns to Lystra a second time. On this trip, he is without his encourager and helper Barnabas. At 18-20 years old, Timothy has become known in the whole surrounding area as a faithful young man. His good testimony made him a prime candidate to be Paul’s new helper.

Timothy responded to Paul’s invitation. He saw a ministry deficit and was burdened to fill that need. He was not merely serving for the sake of service, but for the greater purpose of Gospel progress.

Virtue #8: Valuing Salvation by Grace Instead of Works

Paul’s mission on this trip was to share the apostle’s decision in Acts 15 – confirming that all people are saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone. This message was not popular in religious cultures that relied on works for salvation – and it still isn’t today. The details may differ, but all religious people are trying to determine their own eternal destiny by their own works.

Timothy joined Paul in bringing these new marching orders to newly-established churches, teaching the truth of the Gospel to keep new believers grounded. What a team: shy Timothy who was neither polished nor educated, and Paul who was not eloquent and had a sordid past. If God can use them for ministry, He can certainly use anyone!

Application Points

  • Sometime this year, read through the book of Acts in one sitting. Look for how God grows His church in number or in joy.
  • Young people who practice the spiritual virtues that Timothy learned ought to see their testimony grow. Is your name known for service to God and others?
  • Grace Church of Mentor has a very high percentage of members serving – over 90%. If you are one of the other 10%, what keeps you from serving? Is that an adequate excuse?
  • When is the last time you were able to sit down with an unsaved friend and share the whole Gospel with them? Is this your goal? Every Christian should reproduce themselves by leading someone to the Lord at least once in their lifetime. Pray for true friends with whom you can develop a relationship, and who you can eventually invite to Jesus.

Tools for Further Study

A Hymn to Encourage: “Lord, Here Am I”

Master, Thou callest, I gladly obey;
Only direct me, and I'll find Thy way.
Teach me the mission appointed for me,
What is my labor, and where it shall be.
Master, Thou callest, and this I reply,
"Ready and willing,
Lord, here am I."

Willing, my Savior, to take up the cross;
Willing to suffer reproaches and loss.
Willing to follow, if Thou will but lead;
Only support me with grace in my need.
Master, Thou callest, and this I reply,
"Ready and willing,
Lord, here am I."

Living or dying, I still would be Thine;
Yet I am mortal while Thou art divine.
Pardon whenever I turn from the right;
Pity and bring me again to the light.
Master, Thou callest, and this I reply,
"Ready and willing,
Lord, here am I."