1 Timothy 1:2 ~ "True Children in the Faith"
Please turn with me in God’s most holy word to 1Timothy. While you are turning there I should just like to say quickly, thank you to the worship team. It was a very spirit filled worship this morning and thank you to all of you for giving your hearts to the Lord in worship this morning.
We started last week in 1 Timothy and my goal was to get through verse 2 and I didn’t so we are going to start again and hopefully I will get through verse 2 today. That is the hope. Last week we specifically looked at how the apostle Paul gives to Timothy a sure and certain word by magnifying his office as an apostle. He is not magnifying himself. The apostle Paul would be the first to tell you that he was just as amazed and surprised and filled with awe and wonder that God should choose him to be an apostle; yet, it was important for everyone within the church to know that as an apostle he was giving definitive instructions for the church re: last week. This morning we are going to look at verse 2 and then next week God willing we are going to get into verse 3 and we will be rolling then, but we do have to take care of these introductory matters. I will read verse 2 and then as is our custom we will pray, we will ask for Gods help to open our eyes to see the beauty and the truth of the scripture this morning and then we will get to work.
1 Timothy 1:2 “To Timothy my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from god the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Father, we thank you so much for this letter written to Timothy pastor at the church of Ephesus. We pray God that you would open our eyes this morning to behold grate and wonderful promises from your word. Lord, we ask that your spirit would illuminate the text before us on the page and we ask Lord that you would help our minds to be able to comprehend it and for our hearts to cherish it. We ask above all Lord that you would use this word this morning to strengthen our faith in you, in your Son and that by that faith we would find wisdom in your word to live lives that reflect your glory and your beauty to the world around us. Father, we pray that you would do that this morning in the name of Jesus, Amen.
When I was in high school it was just understood that at some point you would graduate high school, you would go out and get a job and you would get married and have a family; however, amongst the younger generation today having a family and getting married are not assumed. It is not necessarily the expectation among the younger millennial generation that they will even have kids or even settle down in a permanent lasting lifelong commitment in marriage. I read an article recently in The Atlantic about a lady who was pondering this decision on whether or not she ought to have kids. It reads “Isabel Caliva and her husband Frank had already kicked the can down the road a number of times without coming to a firm answer. The can in their particular case was the kid conversation.” I am doing scare quotes up here, but you need to understand that it is actually in the article and that I am not making that up. “The road was Isabella’s fertile years. Frank had always said that he wanted to have lots of kids and Isabella, who was in her early 30’s had thought maybe that one or two would be nice, but she was mostly undecided. They had a very nice life with plenty of free time that allowed for trips to Portugal, Paris and Hawaii. They had lots of disposable income and above all they had pockets, as Frank liked to say, of non-obligation.” “I wasn’t feeling the pull the same way that my friends were describing.” Isabella said. “I thought maybe this isn’t going to be the thing for me. Maybe this just isn’t going to be who we are. Maybe we are not meant to be parents.” At times she wondered if her lack of baby fever should be a cause for concern. She took her worries to the internet where she came across a blog post on the Rumpus website, specifically the “Dear Sugar” advice column, titled “The Ghost Ship That Didn’t Carry Us.” The letter was from a 41-year-old man who was also on the fence about whether or not to have kids. “things like quiet time, free time, spontaneous travel, being able to do whatever I wanted” he wrote “I really value those things.” Cheryl Strayed the author of the column wrote back to this particular individual that each person has a life and a sister life that they will never know, “The Ghost Ship Life,” hence the title of the article. “The clear desire for a baby isn’t an accurate gauge for you. Instead she recommended “thinking deeply about your choices and actions from the stance of your future self.” In other words, think about what you will regret later on. “The Rumpus post helped me to understand that no matter what decision I made there was going to be a loss.” Her ghost ship would either be a carefree life or the experience of parenthood. “That was freeing. It changed my perspective from having to make the right choice to just deciding whatever I wanted.” That is essentially the nature of the debate. This is the question that people are asking young people these days. Do we even really need to have children? What is the point of having a child? What value do children add to us because we can see all of the costs that are involved in bearing children? So, this is a question that is being asked of our young people today. They are not the first ones to ask it, Ralph Waldo Emerson once charged “regarding a family, well it is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call upon you now to live for yourself.” That follows the end of a long paragraph of additional thinking, but I am just summarizing his main point for you. So this is something that is being discussed and thought about widely. It doesn’t just arise in our own generation; although, our own generation seems to be having a greater struggle with it. The Millennial generation, according to a Forbes article dated from May 2017, spends 3 times as much money on self-help materials and self-fulfilment resources as the previous generation (Boomers) even though they have half the money to spend on things like that. It is interesting that people are wanting to know what will make them happy in life, what will bring them fulfilment in life and having a family is not the assumed answer to that question. I was thinking on all of these things this week as I was turning over in my mind this passage from 1 Timothy and I want to pose the question to you today that the millennial generation is struggling with – Do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, want to have spiritual children? Do you? Do you want to have a spiritual child? Do you want to be able to share your faith not necessarily to a little one; although, it is quite a given for parents and their children to share their faith, but specifically speaking to you with regards to the neighbour down the street, the colleague that works in the cubical across from you, the friend/relative that you have known your whole life. Is it a burning passion in your heart to want to persuade this person of the truth of Jesus Christ and to mentor them or to disciple them such that you will be able to say of this person “this is my true child in the faith?” That is exactly what Paul was able to say about Timothy. In 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 1 it says “ Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope,” and then he writes who the letter is to “To Timothy, my true child in the faith,” it is within the bible, it is scripture and yet the foundation and the premise to every instruction that is given here inherent in all of it is the idea that Paul is mentoring Timothy, that Paul is trying to pour his life into Timothy, that he considers Timothy to be a spiritual child and a true spiritual child. So, as we work our way through 1 Timothy over the next 2-3 years one of the things we have to be asking ourselves is this; as we look at every single passage, as we look at every single paragraph in this book, in this letter to Timothy, the question that we first have to ask ourselves is “Do we actually want to take this information, this wisdom that is being given to us and do we desire to pass that on to another to have spiritual children?” Do we? Now, as we are sitting here asking ourselves this question: do we want to have a spiritual child?” it would behoove us to ask what exactly does that look like? What are we talking about here? Perhaps there is an opportunity cost involved. If I were to get into a discipleship relationship with another individual it might mean less time watching Netflix, it might mean less time playing around on Facebook, it might mean less time hunting or fishing or swimming or playing hockey or doing any of the other leisure activities that we like to do. It might mean sacrifice financially; it might mean restraint on my ability to travel and see the world and enjoy my retirement. It might mean a whole host of different things. The question is do you think having a spiritual child is worth the cost of sacrificing those things. Let us consider the apostle Paul. The apostle Paul was known to travel the world; he put something like 25,000 miles on his feet planting churches all across the Mediterranean. Stop and consider that for a second. This last summer I was in Lovington, New Mexico. We crisscrossed the town on Lovington doing door to door evangelism and I probably walked about 18 miles as I wasn’t counting it exactly. I came home and my feet hurt, I have a knot in my right foot which still won’t go away. I know some of you older folks are thinking “You are pathetic man, you are 37, come on!” I hear you! I am just saying that I did 18 miles and my feet hurt despite Dr. Scholl’s! The apostle Paul did 25,000 miles with nothing but a thin strap of leather tied by shoestrings onto his foot. There was no arch support, there was no shock absorbing gel in the heel. He did 25, 000 miles, he planted a number of churches, he made secondary trips to those churches, he raised up a whole host of spiritual children and yet the apostle Paul can say that not every single one was a true child. Not every single one of them was a legitimate believer in Jesus Christ. How do we know this? In the book of 2 Timothy Paul makes an exhortation to Timothy in chapter 4:9. He says “you need to come visits with me, you need to come see me, he knows that his time is running short and he makes this statement “Do your best to come to me soon for Demas, in love with this present world has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.” He goes on to talk about Crescens having gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. He talks about a number of other individuals. He makes the statement “Luke alone is with me” Luke is here, Timothy you come. In that paragraph he alludes to this other person, Demas. He says Demas, being in love with this present world has left us; he is not with me anymore. Demas would not be what you would consider a true child, a true spiritual child of the apostle Paul in the faith. Paul offers us a clue and this is the clue we need to key in on if we want to have spiritual children what we need to be looking for in the children that we are raising up is someone who does not have a love of the world. The apostle John in 1 John talks about this at length and 1 John 2:15 the apostle John says “Do not love the world.” He exhorts people; do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. Now, this is the ESV translation so let me break it down for you. We can understand that term one of two ways. If you love the world we could take that as a subjective genitive (a noun as modifying another noun), we could say that if you do not love the world God is not loving you or we could take it as an objective genitive and say if you are loving the world the love of the Father is not in you; meaning if you love the world you yourself are not loving the Father. That is really what the apostle John is say there in 1 John. He is saying don’t love the world because if you are loving the world you are not loving God. There can be no division; there can be no separation here. All of your affection, all of your desire, all of your hope will be for God the Father or it won’t. If you think you can give all of your love to God the Father and at the same time love some aspects of this world, cherish and treasure and hold on to certain things more than God you are not loving God. He goes on to say “all that is in the world, the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life it is not from the Father, but it is from the world.” He goes on to say that the world is passing away.
My daughters like to play Monopoly, that game that you can play for 12 hours and still not win. They like to play it for the whole thing. They want to build up their empire; they want to have the houses, the properties, and the hotels. It can get quite heated. My daughters will argue and yes I have observed at one point one of them tipping the board, but I thought to myself that we are getting so heated and we are arguing so strenuously over a game that at the end of the day we absolutely will just pick up the board, tip it into the box and put it away. In the same way that Monopoly is a game that it is to be played for just a matter of hours; this life is only here for a matter of hours. Your life as it is described elsewhere in the scriptures is like a vapor, a mist. Your time is precious and the scriptures are clear that the thing which you are to be perusing is not found on this earth, it is found in God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. Demas loved the world and it caused him to fall away from walking closely with the apostle Paul. We can boil this down: Pride in possessions, materialism, the desires of the flesh, those things which bring fleeting temporary pleasures and also the pride of life (this would be the career oriented individual who wants to climb the ladder of success to be able to look down at everyone around him and say “look at me, look at what I have achieved.”) So, whether we are talking about things you own, the career ladder, carnal sinful pleasures the apostle John was clear that none of those things and the pursuit of any of those things is not loving God the Father. Demas loved those things, but Timothy did not.
What do we really know about this man Timothy? In Acts chapter 14 the apostle Paul on his first missionary journey goes to a little town by the name of Lystra. He is in Lystra, he is preaching, in fact he is so well received there that the people rush out and they want to start sacrificing animals both to Paul and his travelling companion Barnabas. They referred to Barnabas as the god Zeus and they declared that Paul was Hermes (who is the spokesman for the god); therefore they were well received. They were so well received their message was so embraced that these people wanted to sort of envelop Paul and Barnabas into their pagan practices. Of course, Paul shut that down and said no you must worship the one true God, we are but his servants. It wasn’t too long before some Jews came up from a previous city where Paul had already been and stoned him. It is during this missionary journey that Timothy most likely comes to faith. A number of years goes by and Paul returns on a second missionary journey to Lystra and in Acts chapter 16, as he is there preaching. The scriptures record for us that there was a disciple there at Lystra where he had already preached once before and down his in preaching a seconding time. A disciple there named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer. So this is a Jewish individual who has trusted in Jesus Christ who has become a part of this sect known as Christianity or as it is referred to in the book of Acts “The Way.” However, his mother being Jewish and his father was Greek gentile. This boy Timothy was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and at Iconia. He was well known in both towns and Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him. Timothy is of both Jewish and gentile decent. Paul’s practice was to always start with the Jews to go into the synagogue to proclaim the gospel. From there the gospel message would go forth to the gentiles. To be welcomed into the synagogue you had to be Jewish and to be Jewish you had to be circumcised. Paul tells Timothy he wants him to come along on this journey and that there will be tough times ahead for which Timothy agrees. At this point Timothy had to be circumcised and agreed to do so. Timothy followed the Apostle Paul and served alongside him. Perhaps what is most telling is this account in Philippians chapter 2:19, Paul writing to the church at Philippi makes the statement that he wants to visit them soon, (he is obviously tied up in prison) and the “I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you so that I too may be cheered by news of you.” In other words, I want Timothy to come to you to minister and have him return so that I can hear how things are going with you guys. Then he goes on to make this statement about Timothy, a powerful statement,”For I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare.” He is talking about the church of Philippi. He is saying that out of all of his disciples and guys that he is mentoring and shepherding Timothy stands apart because his heart really breaks for the church. His heart really breaks for you. He goes on and says that everyone seeks their own interests, not the things of Jesus Christ, but you know Timothy’s proven worth. You know how as a son with a father, he has served with me in the gospel. This is the question that we are asking: What exactly is a “true son in the faith?” We have our answer now. A true son in the faith is someone who shuns the things of this world for the prize of the upward call of Jesus Christ and in knowing Him. A true son in the faith is someone who wants to love God and does not allow the things of this world and the distractions of this life take his focus off of god. A true child in the faith is someone who will work for the gospel. A true child in the faith is someone who has a burning passion and a concern for God’s church. Is that a child that you would like to have? Perhaps I should back up and ask a different question; is that you? Can we say of ourselves here in this gathering this morning between First Baptist Church and Rock Baptist Church, that our passion and our burning desire is for our church to be a place that is a place of joy, that is a place of love where people can come and they can know that God walks among us. Do we see in our own lives this passion so fervently and so strongly that we are willing to sacrifice to make it a reality? Are we willing to invest in our church, to give ourselves to our church, to give ourselves as God leads us and as we are able? Are we willing it give ourselves to those churches around us? Do we see in our own lives this passion to identify guys who are out leading the charge, who are lifting high the banner of Jesus Christ and to say “that guy is out there doing the Lords work and I want to walk along side of him. I want to help him lift high the name of Jesus Christ.” Before we can answer the question of whether or not we would have spiritual children we need to ask the question “are we ourselves spiritual children?” That takes us to the next element of this verse which is Paul’s exhortation not a formulaic greeting. “Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.” Grace, mercy and peace; how do I know it is not a formulaic greeting? How do I know that this isn’t just standard penmanship from the apostle Paul? After all, we look at all of his letters and they almost all say this exact same greeting. This one is not like all the others. He says something different here for Timothy. He says “Grace, mercy and peace.” That is not common to his other writings; this term mercy. What is it exactly that the apostle Paul is wishing to Timothy? Timothy has been a believer for a number of years now so why does he need to hear this exhortation a second time? Because, this is the foundation and the bedrock of everything that we do. When Paul uses the word grace, what he is saying is that 1. God gives richly out of his own abundance to you. He makes provision for you. This term is most frequently associated with our need for forgiveness. The fact is we have all sinned against God. You have heard the expression “no one is perfect,” but that is not true. There is ONE who is perfect and his name is Jesus Christ. None of the rest of us is perfect; we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The bible is quite clear that the wages of sin is eternal death. Having sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and having rebelled against God, having defiled his holy character, the scriptures are clear that he must do justice, but he loves us. So, even though our sins call for a reckoning He is pleased to send forth His Son Jesus to be our reckoning and to take our sins up himself and to die in our place upon the cross. If we would place our hope in that, if we would trust in that and only in that the promise is here that there will be mercy and peace. Mercy and peace flow out of grace. What is the difference between grace and mercy? Grace is where God is prepared to give you something that you don’t deserve. Do you know what mercy is? Mercy is that characteristic where God sees you in your struggle and his heart breaks for you and he walks along side of you through it. He helps you in the midst of it. Grace is different than mercy in the sense that God understands your need and he is prepared to prove it. In the same way that if you were to owe a debt on your house, you might encounter a very generous banker who might say to you “you know what, I am just going to write a cheque out of my abundance and I am just going to pay the mortgage for you.” That would be an act of grace and God absolutely does give us that grace. An act of mercy would be that same banker coming along side of you saying “I promise you that no matter what happens you and I are going to get through this together. Out of my own salary I will help you pay off your mortgage even if I have to take a second job. You are struggling to make ends meet, I get that. I am going to struggle right alongside of you.” In the gospel God fully pays everything we owe by the cross. If you believe in what Jesus has done for your there you stand now forever forgiven. But, just because you are forgiven, and I think you would all relate to this, just because your forgiven doesn’t mean that tomorrow is going to be easy. But, because God has forgiven you the promise is to give you mercy and to walk with you tomorrow. There is no more meaningful promise for a young pastor to hear than to know that God is going to be with me as I start this journey and he is going to walk with me until it is over. That knowledge that God hasn’t just written a cheque and said “here you go,” and forgotten about you and focused on bigger things, but that God has written a cheque and said “here you go. I pay your debt and I am going to struggle along side of you every step of the way.” That knowledge leads to peace. When the apostle Paul says “peace” he is talking about tranquility. He is talking about the sure knowledge that one way or another it is all going to be okay. It doesn’t necessarily mean that what you are going to see today or tomorrow will automatically be okay, but it means that you can have piece knowing that somehow in Gods perfect timing, He will make it okay. That is the exhortation that the apostle Paul gives to Timothy. That is the exhortation that you need right here, right now. You see, whether or not you are willing or interested in having spiritual children hinges on whether or not you are a spiritual child. This is the issue. We are thinking to ourselves there could be a lot of effort involved and maybe I do not know everything that there is to know in order to have a spiritual child. We might be toying with the idea that it would be great to be involved in discipleship, it would be great to actually be able to say there are people that we have mentored, that we have brought along who share our faith in every respect, but at the end of the day I do not have everything I need, I am not as equipped as I would like to be, I do not know the bible as well as I should. There are literally a thousand reasons or excuses for why we ought not to do it. The truth is, apart from God you ought not to do it. But, you make the mistake of thinking that you are the one doing it. That is why we need this exhortation. Any call from God to produce spiritual children requires that those children themselves be spiritual. It requires that we both, me as well as the one I am trying to disciple, ultimately look to God the Father as the source for our instruction, as the source of our wisdom, as the source of all that we are trying to do. If you think you can’t do it, you are right, but the call is not for you to be doing it alone. The call is for you to be walking with God and doing with him. It becomes a question of faith. If the desire is not there for you to have spiritual children then I have to ask you, are you really trusting in the Lord God? If we could just flip this around and look at it from a different perspective for a moment; having children is fun. This next week we have a number of ladies that are either scheduled for c-section or their due dates are coming soon and there will be another influx of babies in the next couple weeks. We love babies. Who doesn’t love a baby? Stop and think about it, the kid cries all night long, he doesn’t do anything but sleep, cry, eat and poop, he is a chore to deal with. As they get older and become toddlers and they are running around getting into all sorts of trouble and mayhem. There is literally no end to the ways that they can hurt themselves and get themselves into trouble. You are stressing and stalking them around the house just to try and make sure that they are okay; it is a lot of effort. Yet, we know how much joy there is when they look at us and say “I love you mom and dad.” We know how much joy it is when they say “dad will you play a 12 ½ hour long game of Monopoly with me?” It is a daunting request, but at the same time there is so much joy in spending time with them. There is something amazing about loving another person. What I am touching on I can’t necessarily explain. It is one of those things that when I say it to you, you know it is true yet the only way you will ever be able to experience it is if you step out in faith and you follow Gods call in this regard. We are all familiar with the famous chapter of 1 Corinthians verse 13, the love chapter. Undoubtedly, if you have ever been to a Christian wedding you have probably heard this chapter preached at that wedding. You have probably heard it preached during Mother’s Day sermons. I can think of all different types of opportunities in which I have heard this chapter preached. Today I am just going to talk to you about verse 1-3. One reason being is that the primary point I am getting at comes from those three verses and the second one being that we don’t have a lot of time. We have to keep it quick and to the point. 1 Corinthians verse 13, look at what Paul says here “if I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. And if I have prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and have all knowledge and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing. If I give away all I have and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love I gain nothing.” Now, just stop for a second there. Those statements are all framed in the negative. If you don’t have love then you are a noisy gong and a clanging symbol. If you don’t have love you are nothing. If you don’t have love you gain nothing. What we very rarely do is pause and step back to hear the exhortation of the apostle Paul to have love and then to consider what is implied in those verses as promises for us if we will have love. Setting aside the definition of love for a second, let’s just talk about what we gain if we are willing to have love. #1 – He says if you speak in all kinds of tongues, but you have not loved you are nothing but a clanging gong. Anybody ever been around young children who just like to beat on that thing over and over again? It is cute for the first 30 seconds, but then it is annoying, isn’t it? What is the opposite of annoying? If something irritates you when you look at it, if something repulses you or drives you away from it we clearing call that annoying or we might call it ugly. What is the opposite of annoying? Something that draws you in, something that draws you in, something that appeals to you, something that is beautiful. So, if you have love you have beauty. #2 - Let’s look at the next verse here, verse 2. He goes on to say, if I have all prophetic powers and understand all mysteries and I have all knowledge and if I have all faiths so as to remove mountains, but have not love I am nothing. Well, what is nothing? Paul is saying here that if you don’t have love, the very reason for your existence is negated. You are nothing; there is nothing of substance or consequence to your life if you do not have love. This means that the opposite is equally true. If you do have love, then you are something. You become a person with a meaning and a purpose. You become a person of substance and consequence. #3 – Now look at the third thing. This is really what I want to draw your attention to. He says if I give away all I have, if I deliver up my body to be burned (if I am willing to become a martyr) even a martyr dying the worst possible kind of death, but if I have not love I gain nothing. Did you notice that expression, gain nothing? If you do have love then you do gain something. What this is telling us is that we are to be a people of love which we are called to be, there is a promise there that something will be added to us; that we will receive something as a result of our love. Jesus made it very clear, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples when you love one another. The new command I gave you that you love one another as I have loved you, so you also are to love one another.” Jesus makes it explicitly clear that if you are a Christian, if you are a follower of Him, you are to love the brotherhood and love the church. As the apostle Paul would say, you are to have spiritual children. We say “Oh, but it will cost me this and oh, but it will cost me that, oh I won’t have time for this extra activity or oh, I won’t be able to travel.” All of those things may need to be sacrificed for something even better; the privilege and the joy of having spiritual children. I was reading an article a couple weeks ago about a lady who her and her husband conceived and they were excited about the pregnancy. They went through the 9-months of pregnancy and eventually it came time for their due date. The child was born; the nurses and the doctors began to clean the little girl off and quickly rushed her out of the room. There was some concern. The nurses quickly reassured them that everything was fine. A little while went by and eventually a pediatrician came to the hospital and they were quite surprised by this. The pediatrician walked in and said “ok, we need to talk.” He had been with their child and he wanted them to know that their child was beautiful and a precious gift. The parents were thinking he must be going somewhere with this. Eventually the pediatrician worked his way around to saying in the gentlest tone possible that their daughter had a genetic abnormality know as Trisomy 21 – Down syndrome. The lady writing the article said that they cried, they cried some more, they called out to God. There was a sense between her and her husband that this child was not their true child. But, as they kept praying and as they kept looking to God, God began to do a work in their hearts in which they realized this was their true child. This was the gift that God had given to them. She goes on to say “I have come now to regard our child Rosie with all of her disabilities, frailties and infirmities as the most precious gift from God.” Again, she goes on to say “children with Down Syndrome need a little more help reaching their milestones, they do everything a bit later on the developmental spectrum, but the weight and the extra effort make every milestone a cause for major celebration. When a child comes of age within the Jewish tradition they hold a bar mitzvah. It is a celebration of the achievement and all the hard work that child has put in, but for a child with Down Syndrome every single milestone feels like a bar mitzvah to us. No joke, I almost rented a hall to celebrate when Rosie first walked. I love this girl and I wish I celebrated that with my other children. I wish I jumped for joy when my boys first tracked a mobile with their eyes or batted at a toy for the first time, but the truth is I honestly don’t remember when that happened for them. For Rosie I can tell you the day, the time and the year. I marked every occasion in her life.” The bible says that God calls us to bear the burdens of others and that if we would hear and head the call of God to walk along side others, God promises blessing. She goes on to say “The apostle Paul once said that he wished he was free of thorns and certain physical ailments, but do you know what God said in response? My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness. I have seen this with my daughter Rosie. Rosie with all her frailties and infirmities has shown to me the perfect power of God. My prayer for everyone is that we would all take it upon ourselves to walk with the weak, the frail, and the infirm in order to know the beauty, the meaning, and the real power of God.” What she is saying there in her own words is: I hope everyone can find it in their heart to love in order to know more fully the love of God. The apostle Paul writing to Timothy uses this amazing expression of endearment and if you look at Paul and you look at Timothy you understand these are two different men with two different personalities. The apostle Paul who is bold, not afraid to preach and in the preaching recognized and embraces the reality that he is probably going to get stoned for it. Then his son in the faith, Timothy, who is more timid and shy not like the apostle Paul. He needs lots of encouragement and exhortation. Yet, Paul is able to say to Timothy that this is my true child. Just the way he says it there is a joy there, there is something there that is added to the Apostle Paul’s life that he would be so impoverished without. It is the joy of having a spiritual child. As we conclude this morning, if you have children you know something of the joy, but I would encourage you to take another person to share your faith with them and to lead them through the baptistery and know the joy of having a spiritual child.
Let’s pray. Father, we thank you for your word this morning. God it is not easy to do discipleship. Lord, it calls for sacrifice and commitment. Lord it will require certain things being laid down on our behalf. Father our prayer to you Lord is that you would guide us clearly in the ways that you have called us to make disciples and to raise up believers who worship and extol your name. Father, our payer is that we would be a people who are passionate for the church. That we would be a people who love like you have loved us and that we would labor to raise up true children in the faith. God, we know that we could never do this apart from your grace, your mercy and the certain knowledge of your peace Lord. So, I pray this morning Lord, as we bring our time together to a close, that you would remind us again and again that you are always with us if we would but trust and hope in you. Father, we love you and we praise you and we thank you for this morning together with our brothers and sisters. God, as we embark on this journey of raising up pastoral apprentices and pastoral preachers in waiting, Father, we pray that you would help us to be faithful in that task of raising us spiritual children who will have a genuine passion for the church and will seek to serve you by serving your bride. We love you Lord and we pray these things in Christ’s name, Amen.
The book of 1st Timothy is a Pastoral Epistle (letter from Paul to a church leader). It was written to give encouragement and leadership guidelines to a young pastor named Timothy, Paul's "true child in the faith" at the church in Ephesus.