The Strength to Live for God

by Feb 2, 20202 Timothy, Sermon

Our lives are better when we believe in Jesus and when someone else believes in us. We need to know we’re not alone. We have a valuable contribution to make as we remember the gospel and share it with others. And we don’t have to be afraid. We can know we’re empowered by God with the strength to live for Him. He will help us in every circumstance.


As you saw from the bumper and the slide on the screen there, we are beginning today a brand-new series on the book of 2nd Timothy. We’re going to spend eight weeks together walking through this, verse by verse. I’m super excited about it.

One of the things that means a lot to us around here are God and the Bible. Here’s what we mean by that: God – the triune God- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In the person of Jesus, we find salvation, redemption. Christ – the bearer of our sins for us on the cross. Then the scriptures. The word of God. God communicating to us and we believe not only inspired, but inerrant in the original autographs. By that we mean the original documents. If that throws you off a little bit think of it this way- we have 103% of the Bible, roughly, and it’s the job for us to look through manuscript evidence to discover which of these make the most sense, which are the most reliable. We have it all and the challenge becomes how do we understand what God has communicated to us? Don’t you love God’s word? It is amazing and we get to dive into it and to experience that together.

As we begin this series, just a couple of challenges to you. Maybe by way of agreement, if you could jump in and participate in these requests. First, as we go through these eight weeks together verse by verse through the book of 2nd Timothy, would you please attend these services? Would you come? Eight weeks together. You got your choice. We’ve already had two, two more today, this is one of them. So, you can come on a Saturday, and you have three choices on a Sunday. I want to invite you to come and make it a priority. I realize, especially for those of you joining us online right now, maybe you have other plans, maybe you’re sick, maybe you’re out of town, maybe you’re getting ready for the SuperBowl party, I don’t know. But it’s a different experience being here in the room. We have a wide viewing audience and we welcome you guys. Some of you are out of state, other countries even, and we welcome you, but if you’re around, if you’re in town, if you’re not sick, if you don’t have obligations, let’s come and be together, okay? That’s request number one.

Number two: dive into this book personally. Read it, re-read it. Study it for yourself. Go further in your own personal study than we could do right here. But have a commitment to make this a priority of opening God’s word together.

Finally, we are going to offer and invite you to participate in some memory exercises as we go through this together. I’ll tell you a little bit more about that as we make our way through the talk today.

As we approach the verses in this book, I think we will indirectly be asking, “What’s it say? What’s it mean? And what’s in it for me?” What’s it saying? Right? We’re looking at it right there. What’s it mean? And what’s in it for me? All those are legitimate questions. They’ll form sort of the background.

I invite you to open a Bible. Maybe you’ve got the Bible on a phone, that’s cool. You can open a real Bible if you have that. If you need a Bible, we would love to put one in your hands. You can go right now even to the Welcome Desk and we’d like to give you a Bible. This series will make a lot more sense if you have a Bible with you, okay? So that’s what we’re doing here.

As you turn to the book of 2nd Timothy let me set the stage and tell you a little bit about what we’re talking about here in this book by way of background. 2nd Timothy is one of the books entitled the “pastoral epistles.” What we mean by that is there are three pastoral epistles, 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, and the book of Titus. Paul is the author of all of these and they are very practical and personal, and as the name suggests, they provide information on leading and information on being part of a church.

As we make our way through this, I want to remind you that this book is written by Paul to Timothy. Paul, if you know anything about that guy, was a bad dude before he met Jesus. God changed his life and now he goes on to write so much of the New Testament. Not most of the New Testament, as some people think. Actually the single author that’s written most of the New Testament is Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Paul is responsible for the most books, but not the most words.

In addition to that, this is Paul’s last letter. He’s in prison. He’s about to be executed for his faith and so that should tell us something about the content and the vibe or sort of the feeling behind the words behind this letter.

It is packed with emotion. It is packed with a sense of urgency and all those kinds of things. In addition, this book is all about remembering the Gospel. It’s not only his personal encounter and encouragement to Timothy, but it’s about don’t forget the Gospel. Whatever you do, don’t forget the Gospel. So, we’re going to have a great time as we work our way through this.

Duane Litfin, in his commentary on the book of 2nd Timothy, notes this- I’m going to read it for you. It’s a little lengthy but hang in there. He says, “Having faithfully done all he could do to develop and teach the truths of the Gospel throughout his ministry, Paul was concerned near the end of his life, that his faithful disciples not change these truths, but rather entrust them in turn to other faithful Christians, who would also in turn entrust them to still others. Paul viewed this body of truth as a special stewardship from God to be managed with great care. Since this truth led to godliness by pointing believers to Jesus Christ, it is the most valuable of treasures. It was to be taught faithfully in the congregation, and all attempts to undermine, pollute, or attack it, were to be met with stern resistance.”

Put another way, this was important material. What we’re discussing under the influence of the Holy Spirit is very important. The Gospel is not only worth remembering, it is worth fighting for. This does matter. It does make a difference.

Timothy was a young pastor in the city of Ephesus. We know it as modern-day Turkey. Several years ago, I stood right here and took this picture. What you’re seeing there is a huge amphitheater in the ancient city of Ephesus. It would have been a place where people met to hear oration and those kinds of things. You also notice the long road which would have led to the port in Ephesus. It would have been here that Paul and Timothy and others would have come and gone by ship. In modern-day it is now silted in. The water of the Mediterranean used to come up all the way to the city. You can see now you don’t even see water in this picture. This is the same location that Acts 19 tells us there was a riot in the city of Ephesus. A riot about the Gospel. Those people rioting gathered right here.

This is the context. This is the environment in which Timothy, as a young pastor, is doing ministry. He’s winning people to Christ and he’s helping to grow up faithful believers in Jesus. Hopefully you’ve had time to turn in your Bible to this book, to 2nd Timothy, so let’s jump into the text. I want to begin at the beginning. Chapter 1, verse 1:

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,” 2 Timothy 1:1 NKJV

This is not an unusual beginning for Paul. He starts a lot of his letters like this. We know that he’s an apostle of Christ Jesus. What does that mean? An apostle would be a leader, selected by Christ, who would have been witness to the resurrected Christ. When did that occur for Paul? It occurred after Jesus was dead and raised and he met Paul on the road to Damascus. He appeared to Paul and he changed Paul’s life forever. Paul started as one who hated Christians, who persecuted Christians as a Pharisee, and now his life has been turned around 180. Living now for Jesus Christ, just a spectacular story about the change in this man’s life. He says it’s by the will of God. This is important. Paul never shook this. He understood that God had a calling on his life and in a very powerful way, used his life. It was so, so extraordinary. We sometimes forget that Paul literally, directly, got his teaching from Jesus Christ. By direct revelation as he interacted with the risen Christ. That’s profound, and he goes on to communicate that truth to us. But it is according to the promise of life, which is in Christ Jesus.

Years ago, Tricia and I had the opportunity, through a mutual friend, to go and meet a prominent Christian leader in our country. Our friend had set this meeting up and we were super excited. By now, this leader was in his 70’s and we were ushered into his office and just very excited about the interaction. He was one of those selected by Time magazine as one of the most influential evangelicals in America. As we sat there, we interacted, we got to know each other briefly. He asked questions about us, he asked questions about our church. He told Tricia she had beautiful eyes. He said nothing about my eyes.

As we were kind of getting through chit-chat, as if to make a right-turn in the conversation, this abrupt transition, he says to me, “What is the gospel?” and I was a little taken back, but I’m thinking, “Ok, I’m prepared for this.” My mind immediately ran to 1st Corinthians 15 where Paul says,

“For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” 1st Corinthians 15:3-4 NIV

Of course, that’s the Gospel, that’s the story that we communicate. And he kind of shrugged his shoulders, simply changed subjects and we moved on. Several days after that, in the ensuing days, I began to replay that meeting and become increasingly uncomfortable or dissatisfied that my answer had not been complete. You ever had that happen to you? Of course. Of course, Jesus came as the sin-bearer. He went to the cross taking your sin and mine and the sins of the whole world and the moment that we believe him for that, he offers us forgiveness and forgiveness of sins in real. But is the gospel only about sin? Is the prominent subject of the gospel the forgiveness of sins? Or is it more than that? As I began to noodle on this a little bit and think more precisely about what’s being communicated in the word, I began to see there’s really more to it than that. In fact, Jesus said it this way in John 10:10:

“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV

Life. Life becomes this central focal point of what the gospel is really all about. Life. Jesus wants us to have life. That’s why he came. For me, the simplest one-sentence explanation of the gospel is this: Life is found in Jesus. The fact that Jesus has certainly come to be the sin-bearer, to take your sin and mine upon himself, to die in our place, is significant. But I would suggest to you that Christ bearing our sins and Christ offering forgiveness of our sins is a means to an end. The end is life. Jesus has come to give us life. It doesn’t just stop at the forgiveness of sins and of course this is why Paul, in his first letter to Timothy, describes himself as a pattern to those who are going to believe in Jesus for ever-lasting life. I find this to be actually a missing ingredient in most gospel presentations. We are believing Jesus for ever-lasting life. So,

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in Christ Jesus,” 2 Timothy 1:1 NASB

Verse two:

“To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” 2 Timothy 1:2 NASB

Paul calls Timothy his beloved son. There’s no direct evidence that Paul actually led Timothy to Christ, but there’s lots of evidence that Paul invested his life in young Timothy. It would be Timothy who would travel with Paul on so many of his adventures in spreading the gospel. Can you imagine the privilege of that? I mean, this young kid, invited by the apostle Paul to now travel to places in the known world to spread the gospel. It would be Paul who would pour his life into Timothy. Paul, who would disciple Timothy. Not only in his personal faith and growth path, but he would disciple Timothy in church leadership. He would help Timothy understand what it was like to love people and to lead a movement like he was leading.

Now Paul is in prison. He’s lonely, he’s discouraged. I think some of us have this view that well, these guys in the Bible, they floated on air and there was this aura about them. No. Even John the Baptist in prison, right? He sent word asking, “Are you the Christ or should we look for another?” Because prison will do strange things to your mind. In this sense of dark and lonely, damp dungeon, Paul is discouraged and he’s lonely and several times in this letter Paul mentions people that had already deserted him. Or who had been disloyal, or who had betrayed him. But not Timothy. And he longed to see Timothy. We can see Paul’s genuine love for Timothy as he continues the letter. Picking up from verse three:

“I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,” 2 Timothy 1:3 NKJV

Can’t you feel the emotion in these words? Put yourself in Paul’s situation. He’s longing to have Timothy with him. What else do you do in prison but pray? He prays night and day for Timothy. His heart is overflowing with genuine love and affection for this young guy. “Greatly desiring to see you,” he says. “I want to see you.” And one of the purposes of this letter is “Timothy can you come to me before I am executed?” Can you make the trip? Love to see you again. “Being mindful of your tears,” probably a reference to the last goodbye.

Paul made it off to Macedonia. We don’t know for sure, but as in the case where he sailed past Ephesus and asked the Ephesian elders to come and to meet him. There was great sadness. There was prayer. There was a sense in which Paul’s destiny was sealed. He said, “I’m probably not going to see you guys again.” Timothy would have been in tears over that. Paul is saying I remember those tears. It’s ok for grown men to cry, right? This was an emotional moment. He said, “that I may be filled with joy.” In other words, if I can see you, I’m going to be filled up with joy.

Joy is often elusive. Do you have joy all the time? I don’t either. Paul actually kind of acknowledges the degrees of joy here. There’s a sense in which we can have joy and there’s a sense in which we can be filled with joy. In fact, the word “filled” here in Greek is one of Paul’s favorite words. He loves to use it. He loves to talk about being filled up, being overflowing in his connection with God. It’s actually a powerful word.

Paul was speaking life into Timothy. He believed in him and maybe there’s a truth here for you and for me. Let me state it like this: Someone believes in you. Someone is for you. You may not remember that. In fact, just hearing those words you may be saying, “you don’t know about my background, you don’t know about…” But of course, whether it was a parent or a sibling or a coach or a teacher or a friend, there have been people in your life that have believed in you. There are people right now that believe in you. There are people for you. They are for you, right? At every turn there has been someone there to desire your best, to hope for success, whether you realize it or not. I have a long list of people in my life who have believed in me. People who have been there for me.

I take what I do here very seriously, so I’ll often filter my life through exercises like this. As I was preparing this, this memory just popped into my head out of nowhere. When I was seventeen years old, I’d been a Christian for maybe four years, and a buddy of mine, who was also a Christian, and I would go to different churches and speak and play music, play a little guitar and that kind of thing. There were two adults in our life at the time – John Pressus and Dr. Frances Ross Hicks, who loved us, who believed in us, who were for us.

John Pressus was the owner of the local McDonald’s. Great friend to have as a kid. In fact, he would supply free hamburgers for all of our weekly youth activities. It was awesome.

Dr. Hicks was an incredibly godly woman who was a psychologist and lover of God, a Bible teacher. And these two people came to us and they said we know you’re traveling around. We know you like to speak to people and play music and all. We’d like to buy you a sound system. We were like, wow this is awesome! They saw something in us. They believed in us enough to invest in us. Now who is that for you? Who are the people who have come around you or people who have spoken into you?

Try this exercise: who has believed in you? Who is for you? If you’re one of those people sitting here today having a hard time maybe thinking of someone who is for you, let’s change that right now. I’m for you. The elders of our church are for you. Our staff is for you. People who call this family their home are for you. There is a mutual believe-in-each-other here. With all of our stuff. With all of our imperfections. We believe in each other. We’re for each other. We will the good of each other.

So, Paul’s fondness and thanksgiving for Timothy was magnified. Next verse, verse five, he said,

“When I call to remembrance the [unhypocritical] faith which is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and I am persuaded is in you also.” 2 Timothy 1:5

I love this phrase. I’ve actually translated it. Most translations have “genuine faith.” But it means “unhypocritical.” Paul noticed in Timothy, he’s remembering an unhypocritical faith. He’s not talking about the faith that Timothy had when he believed in Jesus for his salvation. He’s talking about the faith that Timothy has living as a believer. And it is an unhypocritical faith. I love that word. You know why? Because when people outside the church think of church people, what’s the one thing they say? They’re just a bunch of hypocrites. The word in Greek means “pretender” or “one who wears a mask.” Now I’m not suggesting that all of us haven’t been tempted in that area at one time or another. All of us want to appear better than we really are. All of us want to be thought well of. But to what lengths will we go to be thought well of? If we go past authenticity in our faith and have so much energy into how we appear or what people think of us, that is hypocritical. And hypocrites were particularly distasteful to the Lord Jesus, you might recall.

Timothy had a faith that was unhypocritical, and he said this faith first lived in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. This is a beautiful picture of a family here. Eunice, his mom, was Jewish. We know from another section of scripture that Timothy’s father was Greek and probably not a believer in Jesus. Timothy’s mother and grandmother provided nurturing for Timothy. A nurturing environment. They may have led him to Christ, but certainly they created an environment where Timothy could grow and flourish and Paul reminds him of this.

How about you? I want to suggest that your heritage is not wasted. Some of you are thinking, “You don’t know my family.” I don’t have to know your family. Because, you know why? There are good families and there are bad families. There are good family experiences and there are bad family experiences. There are good family experiences in bad families and there are bad family experiences in good families. We all have it, it’s kind of like this, right? No matter the family you came from, heritage is used by God.

In fact, good circumstances and bad are meant to prompt us, to develop us, to create an openness, a desperation in us for God. And that’s happened in you and in me whether we realize it or not.

Right here on our campus on the weekend, our children’s and students ministries are working to partner with families. Partner with families to create a rich heritage of godly influence. We really do believe it’s that big. Right now in this building, in the space below us over here is the nursery, down over in that building- student ministries. There are things going on. And we realize that we can’t do what you can do, parents, but we can come alongside you and we can help you. In fact, we’re so committed to this that we believe we can actually shape the future of generations.

Some of you are coming out of families, and some of your kids might be coming out of families where we along with the help of the Holy Spirit, can redirect the path. We can, together, say “let’s change a heritage.” Let’s shape a generation. Let’s trust God to do things that only God can do. Your heritage is not wasted.

Last weekend Tricia and I took a quick trip down to Georgia, where we were moving my mom’s things out of her house. Back in the spring, my mom fell and broke her hip. It was the tipping point- changed her life forever. At that point, she moved in with my sister and has been with her ever since and so she’s selling her house and we needed to get things out of there and for about 48 hours it was non-stop.

I was at least for a day in an attic space where I couldn’t even stand up. Breathing in attic dust that was 50 years old. Ahh. Wow. It was exhausting. But in that experience, I’m looking through massive amounts of stuff. I’m sorting through heirlooms and I’m sorting through memories. I would open boxes and I would open bags and I would open folders and I was re-living history. So much of that stuff that had been there for decades and decades. My dad, who had died 25 years ago, had a lot of things in that attic and so I’m not only there re-living my mom’s life, I’m re-living my dad’s life. I came across boxes of my stuff and trophies and scrapbooks and all this kind of stuff. To be honest with you, I’m still kind of processing it. There are feelings I don’t quite know what to do with. It’s a little overwhelming.

As I think about my mom, her reality as she knew it has come to an end. And I’m thinking about all these years. Now our family was far from perfect, but I am so grateful for so much. I’m grateful for a family who took me to church as a young kid, who loved me. I never doubted I was loved. And I came away thankful for the good and for the bad. You know why? God uses all that if we respond to him. We all have a heritage you see. Paul points back to that heritage in the life of Timothy and your heritage and my heritage is not wasted.

Because of Timothy’s rich heritage and the fact that he had believed in Jesus for his salvation, Paul says in verse 6,

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV

Now the words “stir up” there can be translated lots of different ways. We can also translate it “rekindle” or “kindle afresh” or “fan into flame” or “keep in full flame.” Stir it up, he’s saying. Paul could have been saying to Timothy, “hey Timothy, you’re doing a great job, that fire is at full blast. Keep it up.” Or he could have been saying, “Timothy, I’ve noticed the fire is kind of died down and you need to stir it up. You need to stoke the flames. You need to rekindle the flames in your heart.” We don’t know for sure which he was saying, but both are important. He says, “stir it up.” You know, stir up that flame inside of you.

Have you ever felt the embers of your love for God and people growing dim? I have too. It can happen. Notice Paul specifically says, “stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” Now, in his first letter to Timothy, Paul said to Timothy, “don’t neglect the gift that is in you which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the elders.”

He’s obviously referring to the same event in 1st Timothy as he is right here in 2nd Timothy. This event was significant and unusual. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not when you go through, for example, the book of Acts, which I believe in a transitional book, there are things there that are happening that are unusual. For example, you may have people that believe in Jesus, but until the guys from Jerusalem come and lay hands on them, they don’t get the Holy Spirit. As I read the Bible now, the moment – we’ve transitioned out of Acts- the moment a person believes in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to reside inside of them. I think that’s how it works.

But in this case, perhaps we’re talking about a spiritual gift. And the circumstances, we know from the other passage in 1st Timothy, are a bit unusual. I think it went something like this: there was a prophecy about young Timothy. By that, we mean a word from God and someone gave that word from God and said, “this is what is going to happen to you, Timothy. And here is your gifting to accomplish what God is wanting you to do.” And so they would have gathered around him and Paul says at this point, he received a gift. If this is a spiritual gift, this is the only place I know in the New Testament where a gift is given like this.

I believe for the most part, the moment you believe in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of you, you are given a gift, you discover that gift, you use that gift. Paul is saying to him, “stir up that gift of God which was given to you through the laying on of my hands.”

And I think you and I can come away with at least a simple but powerful personal exhortation that simply goes like this: stay stirred up for God. Stay stirred up for God! Be attentive to the embers of your heart. Be aware of the gifting that God has placed within you and make sure you’re investing your life based on that gifting. Stir it up! Don’t grow weary. Don’t grow dull. Don’t let the fire grow dim in your life. Do you have rekindling to do? Maybe. What spiritual gift might you be neglecting to use? So important.

The final verse in our section here today, I think is full of hope. Verse 7.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV

God did not give us a spirit of fear. Timothy may have had a tendency to be timid. He may have had a tendency to be fearful. Why would Paul be including this in a personal letter to Timothy? Why would he be reminding Timothy, listen, you do not need to be afraid? Did Timothy have a proclivity or tendency toward fear? Maybe.

But we know this is true: God has not given us a spirit of fear, but instead, a spirit of power, and of love and of a sound mind. No matter the circumstances, because of our connection with Jesus, you can be a person of power and love and a sound mind – which means self-control or self-discipline.

So as a final reminder by way of application, let me state it this way: fear is not from God. It’s just not. God has not given us a spirit of fear. There’s a lot of fear out there. Have you noticed? In fact, there is, I would suggest, an epidemic of fear. That word is chosen purposefully. There’s an epidemic of fear.

So many times in my life, when I respond to certain situations or I’m going through a season where I’m struggling with something or I can’t quite piece it all together, I’ll often start hearing – guys maybe this is for you because sometimes we’re slow to connect the dots, thank you ladies – there’s this feeling out here and I’ll trace that dot and take that string and go back here, what is the source of that? What am I, what am I… oh my word, it’s fear. And in that revelation, I’ll realize wait a minute, I think if I’m honest, if I’m connecting all these dots, if I’m taking the string back from this outer action here and behavior and pulling it back… I’m afraid. I’m afraid.

Fear is not from God. Then behind every anxious thought and every discouraging feeling lurks an unconfronted fear. I really believe that. It’s everywhere. We confront that fear with the Holy Spirit’s help. So let me ask you, if you were in Paul’s situation, could you respond like he did? Keep in mind here is a guy about to be executed. What is he doing? He’s pouring into someone else. He’s giving away his life before his life is taken. He’s loving Timothy. He’s encouraging, exhorting Timothy. What people would you be encouraging to remember the gospel?

Throughout this series, we’re inviting you to participate in a scripture memory exercise. I told you about it at the very beginning of my talk. Here’s how it works, okay? Would you open your worship guide there, and inside you’ll find a little card. It says 2nd Timothy on one side and then the verse, 2nd Timothy 1:7 on the other. Here’s what we’re going to do. Throughout the entire 8-week series, we’re going to encourage our church family to memorize scripture. We’re choosing just four scripture passages.

Here’s how this works: this is the first scripture passage and we’ll be in this scripture passage for two weeks. So you’ll find this inserted in your bulletin next week when you come. We’re going to take two weeks with this scripture passage and after that’s done, we’ll have another card with another scripture passage we’ll be in for two weeks, another one in for two weeks, and then a final two weeks with a separate card. So four scripture passages for this series. The goal is for you to take this, stick it on your refrigerator, put it in your Bible, wherever, put it on your rear-view mirror, although that might be dangerous, let’s not do that, okay? But I want to invite you to read this aloud together. It’s the very last verse that we finished with. You ready? Here we go:

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

One more time.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Friends, that’s true! And we can tuck that away and hide it in our hearts so that it develops our mind and changes the way that we think. We’re going to have a great time as we not only study the book of 2nd Timothy, but as we hide it in our hearts as well. I want to invite you to go back this week and not only spend time memorizing that verse, putting it away in your heart, but becoming familiar with this beautiful letter, Paul’s last letter to one that he loved.

Let me pray for us. Father, we are very grateful for your grace that is all-sufficient, and we thank you for the fact that we have no reason to be afraid. We thank you that instead, you have given us a spirit of power and of love and of a sound mind. And I pray that as we seek to follow you and live our lives in a way that would honor you, that we would be aware of your help, and of your encouragement, and of the power that’s available through a relationship with you. I pray that you would watch over our church, that you would guard us, that you would help us to realize that there is someone for us, you most especially, but others as a church family. Lead us, we pray, as we walk through this adventure together. In the name of Jesus, amen.

Discussion Questions

In addition to your family, what are your three most significant, human relationships? Why?

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-2. How did Paul refer to Timothy? Why is it important not only to believe in Jesus but also to have someone believe in you? Who believes in you? How do you know?

Paul possessed incredible affection for Timothy. Read 2 Timothy 1:3-5. What evidence do you see of Paul’s love for Timothy? Who do you long for with this kind of godly affection?

Paul mentions Timothy’s mother and grandmother (1:5). Why is a godly heritage so powerful? In what ways are you influencing the next generation to live for God?

In 2 Timothy 1:6 Paul encourages Timothy to “stir up the gift of God which is in you.” What is your spiritual gift? How is that gift being stirred up within you?

We don’t have to be afraid when we’re involved in ministry to others. How does 2 Timothy 1:7 encourage you in your faith? Where do you find your strength to live for God?

Further Reading

Finishing Well

How would you end your last words to someone? As Paul ends his second letter to Timothy, he works through a list that feels out of place at first. Honestly, it’s part of the letter that we tend to skip when we read it. But what if God has something significant to...

One Last Thing

Last words are important words. Books have been written and lists compiled about the last things that famous and influential people have said. This week in our study of 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul will write his last and most important words to Timothy, his protégé....

Training for Life

The moment we believe in Jesus for the salvation of our sins, we are ushered into eternal life. Through no effort of our own, Jesus gives us new life we receive by faith. This life has the opportunity for growth and development. So how do we develop this new life...

Life in Perilous Times

When Paul writes to Timothy, he describes the last days as perilous times. They are days filled with evil and evil doers. The last days began when Jesus left the earth. And until Christ returns, we are to live godly lives and become agents of change. At the same time,...

Live as One Approved by God

Approval is something we all long for, especially from the people who matter most to us. There is something deep inside of us that craves knowing that others are pleased with what we do and who we are. Approval gives us a sense of meaning and significance in the...

2 Timothy 2:13

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)   Related SermonsSermonsStudiesGuidesArticlesStoriesFilmsDonateAboutLifePoint ChurchSubscribe to our newsletter.facebookinstagramvimeo

Strong in Grace

Strength is found in the grace of God. The things we learn from God are worth passing along to others—those who are showing themselves faithful already. Living for God and investing in others is always related to faithful endurance. Life is difficult and so is life...

Suffering for the Gospel

As Paul writes his last words, he encourages Timothy to remember the gospel in kind of a strange way: he urges Timothy to join with him in suffering for the gospel. Is there a different way to see suffering? In this message, we’ll see how God empowers us to maintain...

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)   Related SermonsSermonsStudiesGuidesArticlesStoriesFilmsDonateAboutLifePoint ChurchSubscribe to our newsletter.facebookinstagramvimeo