“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope, To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Timothy 1: 1-2
Over the next weeks (on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) I want to encourage us through the first letter of Timothy. Today I’d like to prepare us for this journey and explain why I think this would be beneficial for us. Firstly, I believe that God’s Word is truth, always relevant and a blessing, secondly this letter speaks into our culture, society and situation and therefore is not only applicable but valuable; let me explain why:
The letter is written by Paul the Apostle to Timothy. There is some debate that Paul may not have actually written the letter but at the time it was written (50-100AD), it was quite common for someone to write in another’s name (this does not answer all the questions but is as far as I will go in a short blog). That said the relationship between Paul and Timothy is very clear. Paul had just been released from prison and had discovered that leaders in the Ephesian Church were distorting the message of Jesus Christ and promoting the philosophies of the day; they were also forbidding certain practices such as marriage. Paul sent his co-worker to the Church with this letter expecting it to be shared with the Church as a whole. This letter, the second one and Titus are known as the Pastoral letters because they instruct Timothy and Titus in their Pastoral duties and also the Church in her ministries. This first letter covers subjects such as: truth and false teaching; public worship; leadership; social responsibility; material possessions; and of special importance and focus the leadership of Jesus Christ.
We live in a time where some argue that there is no absolute truth; that so-called truth is subjective and conditioned by culture. Each person can have their own truth which others should respect. If we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us this letter will speak God’s Word into our lives on this matter in relation to the topics listed above. The letter is also very helpful because its recipient, Timothy, is an individual we can empathise with. He is a real person like us who is shy and needs affirmation and encouragement (2 Tim. 1: 7). He suffers with ill health (1 Tim. 5: 23) and struggles with being respected due to his age (1 Tim. 4: 12).
So, let us prepare our hearts, minds and wills for what God is going to reveal to us from His word.
To Ponder: I would encourage you to read the whole letter over the weekend so that the contents begin to sit in your mind where the Holy Spirit can commence His work. Perhaps as an initial question consider why Paul addresses Timothy in these opening verses as ‘my true son in the faith?’
Prayer: Lord we simply ask that you prepare our hearts, minds and wills to receive your grace, mercy and peace through your Word that we may respond in faith, obedience, freedom and joy. Amen
Praise: Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet
Link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6LC8cu03Ig
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.