It’s rare for me to get a letter in the mail these days, which makes receiving an encouraging email, text, card, or phone call, all the more special and meaningful. In the Apostle Paul’s day, there were no such modern conveniences. For Paul, imprisoned at the time, to get a message of encouragement to Timothy who was struggling in his church leadership, writing a letter was the only way. I recognise God’s hand in that, to ensure the spread of the Gospel.
Paul’s letters were preserved, and copies of that letter have been made over the centuries so we get to read it and be encouraged by it today; around 2000 years later. Even though it was written so long ago, it still has much to say to encourage us in our modern day. For example, in 2 Timothy Chapter 1; Timothy is encouraged to fan into flame the gifts of God in him (6),and be willing to endure sufferings for the gospel (8), hold to the apostles' teaching, with faith and love in Jesus Christ (13), and guard the good deposit that was entrusted to him with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us (14).
He is also reminded that the spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power and love and self-discipline (7). And we see this truth played out in Paul's own life as he boldly spreads the gospel, which is the reason he is unashamedly in prison. He says “That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard that which I have entrusted to him until that day.” (12) This verse brings to mind this great old song we will sing together on Sunday. (Click HERE to listen)
These amazing truths were written to encourage Timothy, and were preserved to encourage us and strengthen us in our Christian walk today. These truths are timeless and stand the test of time because God does not change and the same Holy Spirit who lived in Paul and Timothy lives in us. So be encouraged this week and strengthened in your faith.
I do hope you will join us this Sunday as we look closer at 2 Timothy 1:1-14, and Luke 17:5-10 (the lectionary readings). I hope we will all be encouraged in our Christian walk, and be inspired to encourage those around us who may be struggling at this time. Perhaps you might send a little note with a word of encouragement and one of these solid biblical truths to strengthen that person, like Paul did for Timothy. It’s amazing what difference a little note of encouragement can make in someone's life. Personally, my dad and I do that for each other often with a phone call, sending a small gift, sharing an old photo, recalling good mems, and providing a timely word. I am grateful for him and his encouragement.
I’m also grateful to those who shared thanksgiving stories last Sunday in our Thanksgiving/Stewardship service and to those who provided a wonderful lunch and to all who helped set up/clean up. Thankyou!
Blessings on your week,
God be with you,