Bible Society of South Africa

A model believer? - 24 May 2024

By Ben Fourie

Bible text(s)

7For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7GNBOpen in Bible reader

For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7, GNT

I am prone to putting some biblical characters on a pedestal. They are so dedicated to the work of God, something that looks like an unattainable ideal to me. In the early church of Jesus, people like Peter, Barnabas, Paul and many others were so completely dedicated to their work.

Another one is Timothy, a relatively young man who was very dedicated to spreading the gospel. In about AD 50, Paul and Silas embarked on the second missionary journey and during this journey, Paul met Timothy in Listra. He was the son of a Jewish mother and a Greek father. We know many good things about Timothy. He was taught about the gospel by his grandmother and mother from an early age. Paul calls him “my true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). By AD 63, when Paul wrote to him, he was a leader in the local church.

Despite all these positive things, Paul finds it necessary to say to Timothy: “For this reason I remind you to keep alive the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you” (2 Timothy 1:6). In the verse for today, Paul also finds it necessary to remind him not be timid. It seems as if Timothy needed some encouragement. Yes, even someone like Timothy sometimes got dejected and tired on the road of faith.

To encourage him, Paul gave him some advice. In many places in this letter, we read about this advice: remember the faith of your grandmother and mother, remember that you were chosen to serve God. Paul even points to his own life as an encouragement and example (2 Timothy 3:10). In 2 Timothy 3:15, he reminds Timothy of the power of the Holy Scripture: “… you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

I do not know about you, but I can sometimes get very tired on the road of faith. However, fortunately, I can always draw a lot of strength from the advice that Paul gave to Timothy.

Prayer: Lord God, sometimes, when the road of faith runs uphill and I stumble or even fall, please help me to get up again. Amen

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