This young man came to Christ through Paul’s ministry and became a close friend and companion on two of his missionary journeys (Act 16:1-18:22). Even though he was young in age he was spiritually mature, with Paul calling him his co-worker and dear brother (Rom 16:21; 2 Cor 1:1; 1 Tim 4:12).
He had been taught the Scriptures from childhood and this laid a foundation for his later ministry.
He received two letters from Paul (1 and 2 Timothy) while he pastored the church at Ephesus.
He is mentioned in Acts 16-20 then in several of Paul’s NT epistles.
Lessons from his life: * His mother and grandmother were Jews and had taught Timothy the OT Scriptures before embracing Christianity. Apparently, his father wasn’t a believer (Act 16:3; 2 Tim 1:5, 3:15). Young Christians need to grow in the knowledge of God’s Word because ignorance makes people vulnerable to deception. Don’t under-estimate the value of consistent Godly input into young impressionable lives – be it parental, from other family members, through Sunday school or other Bible-based initiatives. If embraced this input will become evident in the future. Praise God for those who become Christians at an early age in life and have not ventured into destructive vices.
* Timothy was well thought of by the local Christians. Paul invited Timothy to join his team and he accompanied him on his second and third missionary journeys besides being also sent on various visits (1 Cor 4:17, 16:10; 1 Thes 3:1,2). Then he was placed as leader of the Church at Ephesus (1 Tim 1:3,4). Paul’s instruction to Timothy, in who he saw potential even though he was young and timid, is valid for us too (2 Tim 1:7). Do I believe in people, and come alongside to mentor and help those who are motivated even if there are weaknesses and character defects that need to be overcome for them to be effective?
* Timothy had a genuine interest in others and imitated Paul’s life who lived what he spoke (Phil 2:19-22). Although addressed to the Philippian church Paul's statement, “What you have learned, received or heard from me, or seen in me put into practice” also reflected on the lifestyle of Timothy (Phil 4:9). The majority of the two letters Paul wrote to Timothy were instructions to carry out, such as, “Be their ideal, a pattern for them...teach others so they in turn will pass these truths on” (1 Tim 4:12; 2 Tim 2:2). Allow Godly leaders to speak into your life, be open to receive instruction and guidance from them so in turn you can disciple, teach, and impart to others. Let the truth change you so you can speak from personal experience and with enthusiasm.
* “Don’t fail to use the things that God has entrusted to you...stir up the gift within” (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:6). Often it’s not more revelation or gifts that we need, rather the applying of what we already have. What is the point of seeking more ‘new’ teaching if we overlook putting into practice what has already been given. From the foundation that has been laid, develop the giftings God has given you, knowing we are responsible for what we build (1 Cor 3:10-15). Guard well your God-given abilities so you will ultimately receive the ‘well done’ recommendation for good work (Mt 25:21; 2 Tim 1:14, 2:15).
* Run from evil, yet stay close to the Lord so you’ll be a person Christ can use for His highest purposes (2 Tim 2:19-22). Rise to your full potential and calling in Christ. Live with no regrets. Be motivated for the eternal Kingdom. Note the personal responsibility; if we desire to be useful to God, it is our job to be disciplined and cleanse ourselves, not expecting God to do everything for us.
* Those who follow Christ will be persecuted. However, don’t be afraid of suffering for Him – there is a crown waiting for all who live for Him (2 Tim 3:12, 4:5,8). We will be rewarded for all we do for Christ and it will be well worth any hardship we go through (1 Pet 1:6,7).