Grace, Mercy, and Peace
The way in which Paul refers to Timothy throughout his letters is striking. He doesn’t keep this younger man at arm’s length; instead, Paul addresses Timothy as his “beloved child,” his “child in the Lord,” and a “fellow worker” in proclaiming the gospel (2 Timothy 1:2; 1 Corinthians 4:17; Romans 16:21).
Initially, we might not think that Timothy was an obvious choice to be the recipient of Paul’s words or letters, at least not from a human perspective. He wasn’t strong or mature but relatively young, physically frail, and naturally timid—a rather diffident chap who must have looked too inexperienced for what he was doing. When he got anxious, it went to his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23). He was not a high-caliber candidate. Really, though, this isn’t unusual. This is most believers. This is me and you.
And yet Timothy was God’s man.
He was God’s man because God had chosen him. God delights to pick up men and women—including those who are comparatively young, naturally weak, physically frail, or obviously reserved—and say, This is what I have lined up for you. You’re My chosen servant for the task to which I have appointed you.
The 18th-century evangelist George Whitefield was used by God to bring tens of thousands of people to saving faith. Yet he was often overwhelmed at the prospect of his own ministry. Once, on his way to preach in the chapel of the Tower of London, Whitefield records, “As I went up the stairs almost all seemed to sneer at me on account of my youth; but they soon grew serious and exceedingly attentive.” Why did the reaction of his listeners change? The answer is simply that Whitefield, like Timothy, was God’s chosen man.
How Timothy must have drunk in Paul’s greeting, which reminded him of his resources! God had redeemed and commissioned Timothy, and God would supply grace for the trials, mercy for the failures, and peace in the face of dangers and doubts.
What do you and I need today? Exactly what Timothy needed: grace, mercy, and peace. All that was available to Timothy is available to us too. So you can lean on God and the provisions He’s made for you in Christ. His resources are sufficient to meet your every need and to accomplish every task He calls you to.
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,
2To Timothy, my beloved child:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You
3I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 4As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. 5I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. 6For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, 9who saved us and called us to1 a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,2 10and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.3 13Follow the pattern of the sound4 words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
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