READING: 2 Timothy 1-4
“But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
2 Timothy 4:5
As one who disciples others, I love the intimate picture of discipleship in 2 Timothy. First, Paul reminds us that Timothy first learned about faith in his family of origin: “I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and now, I am convinced, is in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5). We do not have a record of Timothy’s father influencing his faith, but do know that Timothy’s mother and grandmother set an example in their home. Timothy must have seen in them an authentic and living faith.
Next, we learn that they surely taught Timothy the Word of God. As Paul said to Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:14-15). Lois and Eunice must have poured the Word into young Timothy, and he knew from them that God’s Word is “profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16).
Next, that Word tells us that Paul invested his life into Timothy as well; indeed, he allowed Timothy to share life with him: “But you have followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, and endurance. . . .” (2 Tim. 3:10). That’s why Paul could rightly challenge to be faithful, to teach the Word, to fulfill his ministry. That’s also why Paul could readily prepare to lay down his life – he knew ministry would go on through Timothy.
So, here’s the picture of discipleship in this book. The Word is the foundation. The family is the first site of teaching. Within the larger body of believers is a mentor who then disciples someone already influenced by his family of origin. That work is a divine partnership, a joint responsibility, and a shared joy when the next generation serves Christ fully.
- If you’re not investing in someone’s life, start that process this week.
- If you had/have Christian parents or grandparents, thank God for them. If possible, send them a note of thanksgiving.
PRAYER: “God, thank You for Your Word and the people You’ve placed in my life.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jude, 2 Peter 1-3