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Saturday, March 7, 2015

BEGINNING ANEW with Caree Connolly

Remaining Faithful in Every Season 
Koinonia
2 Timothy 1
Caree Connolly





Taking a look at Paul's second letter to Timothy is a great way to start a new season in Koinonia Fellowship? I hope you'll agree.

This second book of Timothy was the last letter that Paul wrote. He was back in prison, under Nero's orders. Nero, the emperor at this time was blaming Christians for the burning of Rome which happened in 64 AD. Many Christians took a lesser aggressive route in their ministry due to this. 

Timothy faced this same temptation. Paul wrote this last book to Timothy around 67 AD. Paul had already undergone a hearing, was awaiting a trial and was probably awaiting exclusion. We know this as true because he was beheaded on Appian Way outside Rome in 68 AD. 

So Paul's letter to Timothy was to encourage him to remain faithful to his calling and stand shoulder to shoulder with Paul and other believers and continue to preach the Word. This book can help teach us to do the same.
  
2 Timothy 1:1-7
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Although Paul knew that he was to die soon, he still gave Timothy an encouraging word of hope. That is that we have the promise of life in Jesus. Jesus said, in Matthew 10:28 “Don’t be afraid of those who can kill your body, and after that they don't have any power”.

John tells us, in 1 John 5:11 "This is the record, God has given to us eternal life, and that life is in the Son. And he who has the Son has life".

Paul is telling us that even with a sentence of death, we can speak of life. Not just life, but that eternal life that we have in Christ Jesus. How awesome is that.

Paul is writing these words to Timothy, who he considers his son. This verse states the emotion behind his words. In 1 Timothy, he used, 'my own son in the faith' (1:2) But here, he uses, 'my beloved son'. Paul did not love Timothy less in the first book. Paul is just expressing it more, showing just how dear Timothy is to him. And he gives some beautiful gifts of God. 'Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father'. These are All needed in order to Timothy to fulfill the ministry. 
Grace: which is God's unmerited favor. 
Mercy: is the blessing of our deliverance from sin. 
Peace: is that God is in control of our eternity. Written by Paul to Timothy. 

Important for us to remember as well.


THANKSGIVING

2 Timothy 1:3-5
I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

Paul first states his thanks to God who he serves with a pure conscience. 

Our conscientiousness, that internal voice, telling us right from wrong. Hebrews 13:18 says: ...we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things. 

It's listening to that still, small voice.

We also see here that Paul was such an awesome prayer warrior. So much of his ministry was about prayer. He lived a life that showed his close relationship with Jesus. And he tells Timothy that he is daily praying for him. 

We here today, know that people are praying for us. I actually can't imagine that not happening. Can You?

Paul in verse 5 speaks of Lois and Eunice. Timothy's mother and grandmother. After they were saved (converted) they immediately began to pray for Timothy. I think that can be said for a lot of families. The joy of Jesus in your life needs to be shared. Especially with people close to your heart. Like family. 

When Timothy was converted, His mother and grandmother must have been felt Joyous. You can read in Acts 16:1-3 about Paul's first meeting with Timothy. We know that the bond between Paul and Timothy grew because he calls Timothy, first 'a true son in the faith' (1 Tim. 1:2) and then 'a beloved son' (2 Tim. 1:2) Pretty great legacy to have.

APPEAL FOR LOYALTY TO THE GOSPEL

2 Timothy 1:6-7
Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

In a commentary ' Critical and Explanatory of the Whole Bible' from www.StudyLight.org we read that Timothy wasn't using his teaching as much since Paul wasn't around as much. Paul is telling Timothy to rekindle the fire of his ministry. Exercising what God had given him. 

We can sometimes neglect the gifts God gives us. They have to be used. And with faith and prayer we can. We are reminded in verse 7 not to fear. The word 'fear' in this verse refers to 'timidity'. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to witness and for service. We also receive love. The love we have for lost souls and the people of God, we can endure suffering and accomplish the work of God. Besides, we know that fear does not come from God. 1 John 4:18 says “ There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
And Here is a quote that I found which seemed to fit also:

Fear is born of Satan, and if we would only take time to think a moment we would see that everything Satan says is founded upon a falsehood.” ~ A. B. Simpson

BE COURAGOUS

2 Timothy 1:8-12
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Don't be ashamed. That is a key for anyone. Paul wasn't. And he encourages Timothy not be either. With Timothy's timid nature, he might be avoiding circumstances that involved suffering. Philippians 3:10 says, “ That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comforable”.

Paul uses himself in prison to show Timothy that he was there, not because a wrong doing, but for the sake of Christ. He was suffering for a glorious cause and setting a example for others. He continues to encourage Timothy as we see in verse 9 that God called us by Grace. A holy calling. Not by our works, and not because we are worthy, but to accomplish His purpose of love and grace that was given in Christ.

Jesus was flesh here on here earth. His death and resurrection, He abolished death and brought about a light of life. 1 Corinthians 15:55 says, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”.

We have the assurance of eternal life, and the hope of heaven.

With verse 11 and 12, we see that Paul has 3 jobs God appointed him to. A preacher: bringing a unbeliever to the faith of Christ Jesus. That they might have eternal life through Christ. A teacher: teaching how to walk, how to grow, and develop a relationship with God. Teaching the Word. And an Apostle: chosen by the Holy Spirit.

Because Paul was all of these, he was imprisoned. He knew he would die, but his life was committed to Jesus. Not just to see Jesus upon his death, but even when we all see Jesus.

GUARD THE GOSPEL

2 Timothy 1: 13-14
Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

Timothy was probably at this time in Ephesus. Paul had earlier, spoken to the elders in Ephesus about false teachers coming in after he left. Acts 20:29 “ I know after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
Paul was warning them than about men coming to teach something contrary to the truth. We have those even today. I looked up to see how many verses talked about false teachings. There were about 57. Couldn't do them all, but here are a few that you can look up: 2 Peter 2:1-3, 1 John 4:1-3, Matthew 7:15-20, 1 Timothy 6:20-21, Jeremiah 5:30-31, 1 Timothy 4:1, and Mark 13:9

Paul is reminding Timothy here to hold fast the words he was taught. It had been given in faith and love. And was truly from Jesus. With all the false teachers out there, Paul in prison. That could shake up anyone. 

But with the Holy Spirit, we can come to understand the Word of God. John 16: 13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and what he will tell you what is yet to come.

A good reminder for us that He is the truth. We need to be mindful of what we hear, and if it does sound right, search the scripture. The Lord will show you.

FAITHFUL AND UNFAITHFUL SERVICE

2 Timothy 1: 15-18
This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

I can imagine that it was sad for Paul, having the people in Asia and Asia Minor, turn their backs on him. These two men, were fellow Christians. Had stood with Paul during his ministry. It seems though that this last time, with Nero, with his foot on the necks of all believers brought about a lot of fear. Although it is unsure fact, it's possible that these two were in Rome at Paul's arrest and trial, but did not support him in any way. That must have been heart wrenching for Paul.

But what a blessing for Paul that he had a brother, who not only supported Him throughout his ministry, but even sought him out during those times Paul was imprisoned. (verse 16 'and was not ashamed of my chain') And it wasn't just Onesiphorus himself, but his whole household.

To end a chapter with a blessing to a house, is such a neat way to show courageous enthusiasm, shameless suffering, and spiritual loyalty.

We saw in this chapter that Paul was not broken even knowing his end was near. He took this opportunity to speak to Timothy and to us about staying strong in the Word. He emphasized the importance of prayer. Praying for others. He reminds us that Christ defeated death and that we have eternal life in Him.

Now, as we go into a new season, I believe it's a great way to move forward with 
Courage
Enthusiasm
Willing to Suffer for His name sake 
Spiritual Loyalty 

Don't you agree? 

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