2 Timothy 1:1-7: Reminders

Read: 2 Timothy 1:1-7

Paul introduces himself in the letter to Timothy as an apostle of Jesus Christ and addresses the letter to Timothy his “beloved son”. Timothy and Paul had a tight-knit relationship. Paul first encountered Timothy in Lystra (Acts 16:1). Timothy apparently had been raised by his mother with a deep respect for the Jewish faith out of which Paul had come although his father was a Greek. Timothy is mentioned in the salutations of five in the New Testament letters including 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians. He also served as Paul’s emissary on a number of occasions to these churches (1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 16:10, Philippians 2:19, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-4). The father-son relationship between these two men is cemented as Paul raised up Timothy as his spiritual child. In the same manner in which a parent longs to see their children after a long time of absence, Paul longs to see Timothy, who brings joy to Paul’s life by Paul merely thinking about the faith that was passed down to him by his grandmother and mother and is now present in Timothy.

Paul wants to remind Timothy here of the things that Paul had given him by the laying on of hands. Paul also reminds him elsewhere to not neglect the gifts he had received earlier in (1 Timothy 4:14). These gifts are spiritual gifts that had been bestowed upon Timothy. Paul does not mention what these gifts are, but he wants to remind him because of the faith that Timothy had similar to his mother and grandmother. He wants Timothy to “kindle afresh” the gifts – that is to reignite them so they may burn and be used with power. Spiritual gifts are received every Christian for the purpose of serving the body (1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Peter 4:10). Paul says that Timothy should ignite his gifts because the God did not give a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love, and discipline (self-control, sober-mindedness). Paul and Timothy were a powerful force, enabled by God’s. They exercised love and thought clearly in the manner of all manners pertaining to the mission that they were a part of.

Christians today have the same faith that Paul and Timothy had. Because of the same faith is shared, Christians can do as Paul did when times are hard: remind others or remember for themselves the Spirit that is within them, the gifts they have, and the love they have for one another. When hardship applies pressure to one’s life it is difficult to see through the fog that can cloud one’s mind. It is difficult to remember all that one has available in his or her arsenal to combat hardship. When others are under duress, one can spur them on, reminding them all the good things God has given them and exercise one’s own giftedness towards the one enduring hard times. These kinds of reminders are healthy, and can make all the difference in how one approaches the hardships in life!

Lord, remind me of the powerful resources you have given me, especially when I and others need them!