II Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
The apostle Paul was chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ to be the twelfth apostle. He replaced Judas Iscariot. Judas Iscariot was chosen by Jesus Christ as one of the original twelve apostles. Jesus knew that Judas was a thief. He even stated that Judas is a devil.
John 6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
We know that Jesus Christ did not make a mistake in choosing Judas. There was a lesson to be learned in all that Jesus did and taught. I am not sure that I fully understand the lesson here, but there is one to be learned. One thing we can learn is that lost people can look and act like saved people on the outside. However, God knows the heart and no one fools Him.
God directed the apostle Paul to write every word that we have from him. Paul began this letter by reminding all his readers that he was an apostle. He was personally chosen by Jesus Christ to be a messenger to his generation but also to every subsequent generation. We have noted in previous devotionals that all the apostles were personally chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ worked with His Father in the choice of the apostle Paul.
Paul further stated that his apostleship was according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ is the giver of life. Eternal life is a gift of God that is only possible through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once a person is saved, God will work in their heart to direct them where He wants them to serve. It is important to be directed by God and by godly men to the place where God wants you to be if you are saved. When Saul (Paul) was converted, God sent Ananias to pray for him that God would restore his sight. He was also directed to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Over the years since then, Paul had worked with Timothy to direct him in the doctrines of God and help him to see how to live out true faith in God.
In verse 2 we see that God directed Paul to write this letter to Timothy. Timothy was Paul’s adopted spiritual son. Paul had met Timothy in Acts 16. Timothy had a godly mother and grandmother. His father was a Greek, but we read nothing about him having a godly influence on his son. A godly spiritual father is important.
The Catholics claim to have their “fathers”. They claim the pope is the “holy father.” The Bible tells us there is only one Holy Father and that is God. The Catholics are imposters. They teach people to call their priests “father”. They are wicked people who keep people from the truth. Paul was a true spiritual father to Timothy. He was not Timothy’s mediator before God. He was not the one who could withhold forgiveness or grant forgiveness for Timothy. He was a close associate of Timothy and he was directed by God to teach Timothy the Word of God more perfectly. He was a “father” in the sense of being older and more knowledgeable of God’s truth than Timothy was. Timothy had a godly mother and grandmother who both had a part in seeing Timothy get saved. They had a godly faith and they had helped Timothy to put his faith in the true God. Paul was directed by God to take Timothy from that place and prepare him further for the work of the ministry.
One on one training is important. That type of training is much more practical than the modern way most men are trained. Text book learning is important, but there is so much more to the Christian walk than book learning. The most important book is the Word of God. Jesus taught an important lesson on discipleship that we often miss. He chose twelve men. He poured His life into those twelve men. We already mentioned one of them was a devil. Nothing Jesus taught him benefited him. He rejected it all and he is suffering in torment now because he rejected the truth.
Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
We do not turn away anyone the Lord sends our way. It is better to be faithful with a few than to have a large list of individuals we have met but not been able to really do justice to our time with them. Timothy was a willing learner and Paul was a willing teacher. Those two are necessary. The apostle Paul met many people. He had the privilege of preaching to and teaching many people. However, only a few of those many are mentioned in the Bible. Some of them, like Timothy were trained to carry on the work of the Lord after Paul’s death. We need to be praying for God to give us even just one person we can help in their walk with the Lord, if we are saved. We need to be walking humbly with God to be able to see that individual that God wants us to spend time with. Sometimes that person will turn out to be a disappointment. They may seem to show an interest in the things of the Lord. Then they get led astray by false teachers and the lust of the flesh. They never come to see the value of truth. They become proud and assume they know more than their teacher. Yet what they “know” is not found in the Word of God.
Paul had a great opportunity to help Timothy to grow in the Lord. However, Paul also understood and was led by God to give a very important greeting to Timothy. God’s blessings are eternal and they are of greater value than anything man can offer. God’s grace, mercy and peace are essential to every child of God. We cannot function for the Lord without His grace. We need His strength to accomplish His Work. We are saved by God’s mercy and we also need God’s mercy as we learn to walk with Him faithfully. When we walk in His grace and we receive His mercy along the way, we can know His peace as well. What a blessed fact to have His peace in our hearts. Jesus taught:
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
These three precious gifts are only available from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord. What a blessing to know Him and to walk with Him. Those who are lost are missing out on so much. Those who are saved, but want to align themselves with the carnality that God rebuked in the church in Corinth also miss out on great blessings. We need to be reminded often of the need to walk in God’s grace and trusting in His mercy and knowing His peace in our hearts. That is how we can be a blessing to others as well.