A tour de force through the last will and testament of an old leader to a younger one
This week is the final installment of the blog series: Remedythe cure for the common: How to Think, Dream and Lead like Jesus. By way of conclusion we continue to look at Pauls final words to young Timothy. Keep in mind that Paul knew this would be his last correspondence with the young man he had invested in for many years.
It is kind of like the old cowboy movies when the guy would get shot in the gut leading to his slow and imminent death. But just before he died he would ask for one last cigarette (I guess at that point nonsmokers really cant complain, after all his addiction will only last another five minutes), and then say something really profound. Paul wasnt a cowboy and definitely wasnt a smoker, but the idea is still the samethis is his last message, and as such, should be viewed in that light.
Therefore, these are the last four encouragements or exhortations from Paul the older leader to Timothy the younger:
- Protect the truthguard the good deposit entrusted to you (1:13-14): The only way to protect the truth is to possess the truth. The only way to guard the message is to have been given the message. The only way to hold fast to truth is to have a personal possessive Oh God, you are my God type of relationship with truth. Timothy already knew sound teaching, now Paul was saying to protect it.
- Run away from immaturity and chase after godliness along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (2:22): The phrase youthful lusts carries a broader meaning because it doesnt simply refer to sexual lusts but to expressions of youthful immaturity. Pursue righteousness (dikaiosn meaning moral uprightness), faith (pstis meaning trust in God), love (agp meaning a charitable disposition toward others), and peace (eirn meaning harmony rather than argumentativeness).
- Obey the Bible that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (3:14-17): Anything worth doing the Word of God completely prepares the Christian to do. Therefore Timothy was to know it and obey it. As Dr. Bill Bright said years ago, Obedience is liberating.
- Preach-proclaim-advocate-discuss-herald the messagein season and out of season (4:2): Timothy was to be prepared to preach/herald when it was convenient and popular but also when the audience would not be receptive. While Timothy was a pastor and this text is typically discussed in relationship to preachers, I think there is still something of applicable relevance to leaders. As leaders at the feet of Jesus there should be steadfastness in our willingness to proclaim Jesus.