Friday, October 12, 2012

2 Timothy 1:5-7

Summary retelling of 2 Timothy 1:5-7

Paul reassures Timothy by reminding him of the faith that he learned from his grandmother and his mother.  Paul also reassures Timothy through his confidence that the love that was apparent in them must surely be within Timothy as well.  Paul tells Timothy to use the gifts of God that are within him boldly and with confidence.  Paul also reminds Timothy that those gifts of God were made evident and witnessed by others when they laid hands upon him for ministry.  Finally Paul tells Timothy that God does not want us to be afraid.  Rather, God wants us to be self-controlled, loving, and within His authority.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
We can remember from the last letter that Timothy suffered from the character flaw of being a bit timid and he tended to let people walk all over him.  Timothy needs to be reassured.  He needs to have his confidence restored.  He needs to be given permission to be bold in his witness.  Paul starts this process by reminding Timothy about the faith of his mother and grandmother.  The power of role models is always understated in culture.  Every single person has people to whom they try to aspire.  Every person has people in their life that emulate qualities from which they can learn.  For Timothy, Paul wants to remind him of the strong faith that would not be quenched that was found in his mother and grandmother.  If their faith refused to be quenched and Timothy learned his faith from them, then it follows that Timothy should also have an unquenchable faith as well – although he might have to learn how to use it.

What spiritual qualities have your spiritual mentors taught you?  When do you need a boost in confidence as you learn to emulate those learned spiritual qualities?

Second Thought:
Paul tells Timothy to “fan the flame.”  This means to make something stronger, more intense, and more vigorous.  Paul is telling Timothy to stop sitting back and letting people walk all over him.  He is telling Timothy to stop feeling like he has to compromise his message in order to get people to like him or to follow him.  Rather, Paul is telling Timothy to step up and be the leader.  It is hard enough to be a leader in the first place; it is even more difficult to be a leader when the leader’s confidence is put in question.

Why do leaders who lack confidence struggle?  What are some of the reasons that leaders lose confidence?  How can confidence be regained?

Third Thought:
Paul also makes a case against fear with Timothy.  God does not want us to be afraid, he wants us to go forth and follow His leading.  He wants us to act in self-control knowing that we are following His agenda.  He wants us to act in love, knowing that His agenda is about bringing people to Him – which requires functional relationships.  He wants us to act in His authority knowing that we are following Him and He will give us the strength to accomplish His will.  In no place here is there any room for us acting boldly on our own agenda.  We are to act boldly and self-confidently when we are following God’s agenda.

When is it easy to be self-confident, loving, and in authority?  When is that difficult in life?  What do we need to do in order to have confidence that we are living God’s ways and following His lead?

Passage for Tomorrow: 2 Timothy 1:8-9
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