|“I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors |
did, with a clear conscience, as night and day
I constantly remember you in my prayers.”
|—2 Timothy 1:3|
We all need someone to mentor us in our walk with Christ. Yes, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us. We also have God’s Word to instruct us in right living.
And we can learn from the example of the Apostle Paul who mentored his son in the faith, Timothy. Two of Paul’s letter—his epistles—bear Timothy’s name. Paul wrote words of admonition and encouragement to Timothy, as Timothy went out to serve as a spiritual leader.
Notice the inherent power and also the inherent humility and openness in these words of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:3-14:
I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner.
Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace.
This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. That is why I am suffering as I am.
Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
How fortunate we are that God has preserved Paul’s words of counsel. We are all “Timothys” in need of this instruction. Thus, Paul can mentor us. His words give us a reality check against which we can measure the words of any other current mentor.
Let us go out into this day with the same surety that God has chosen us to be objects of His unfailing love. And let us boldly, but humbly, share what God has done for us with those who cross our path this day.