Greetings to the Father, Holy Spirit, Son of God, angels and saints in Christ. Today I will continue to examine the ministry of Timothy, who was chosen by Paul and the Holy Spirit as a team member. He began in the role of an apprentice or Junior Minister, but ended with a very responsible position in the ministry equivalent to that of a bishop/overseer. Timothy entered the ministry with some very desirable qualifications in the Lord and must have been an avid learner. He worked closely with Paul and Silas and as the scriptures indicated, he would have been present at the major events in the ministry. For example, Paul stayed in Corinth for 18 months and taught the new believers (Acts 18: 1-11) then traveled to Galatia and Phyrgia strengthening the disciples (Acts 18: 23). Timothy was present when Paul laid hands on certain Ephesians and they spoke with tongues and prophesied for the first time (Acts 19: 1-7). He would have witnessed the special miracles done by Paul in which handkerchiefs and aprons were taken from his body to the sick and demon possessed who were healed (Acts 19: 11-12). I know that miracles still take place today by these means. He witnessed the new Ephesian believers destroying their magic arts and would have been present as Paul waged warfare against the hosts of hell (Acts 19: 14 – 20). Do we see the relevance of Eph 6: 10 – 18 for these believers? He was sent to Macedonia with Erastus to determine the welfare of the brethren (Acts 19: 22). Paul’s actions in delegating this responsible job to these ministers indicate that they, Timothy included, had grown in the ministry. Paul also knew his own limitations in terms of availability and was able to prioritize which churches should receive his urgent attention. Timothy certainly would have been present when Paul was taken into custody in Jerusalem then eventually “imprisoned” in Rome. A timeline of Paul’s journeys can be found at blueletterbible.org/study/paul/timeline.html.

TIMOTHY WAS MORE THAN AN OBSERVER OF PAUL’S MINISTRY

God had a divine plan in mind when He selected Timothy as a member of Paul’s ministry team. He needed faithful men to succeed Paul at the end of his ministry as well as men who would support the work. One man certainly cannot do it all. Scriptures indicate that Timothy advanced in the ministry to the point where Paul sent him as his representative to the churches to issue words of doctrine, correction etc that he had written by letter. Since Timothy had helped to write these letters, he would have been fully aware of each detail of doctrine and correction and would have been able to give an answer to any one who questioned the issues. Let us examine Paul’s reports about Timothy:

•He validated his relationship to his spiritual son, calling him beloved son (1 Cor 4: 17), son in the faith (1 Tim 1: 2), dearly beloved son (2 Tim 1: 2) and son (1 Tim 1: 18).

•He called him his workfellow (Rom 16: 21), or assistant in the ministry, since he preached and taught the gospel with Paul (Acts 17: 15, 18:5, 20: 4; 1 Cor 16: 10, 21: 19; 2 Cor 1: 19). Timothy had become a replica of Paul and this is why he so trusted him in the ministry as revealed in the letter in which he told the Corinthians that “he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do” (1 Cor 16: 10). Timothy was a miniature in the love of the Lord, doctrine and mighty works.

•Paul told the brethren that Timothy was “faithful in the Lord” (1 Cor 4: 17).

•Paul called him a servant of the Lord (Phil 1: 1).

•Luke said that Timothy ministered to Paul (Acts 19: 22). We know that he assisted him by writing his letters, assisted him in teaching and preaching the word, delivered his letters to the churches in the role of a diplomat/overseer to the general overseer. The example was set in the Old Testament by the prophets who had ministers. For example, Moses had Joshua, Elijah had Elisha and Elisha had Gehazi.. This was God’s succession plan for the continuation of the prophetic ministry to the nation since the minister was the one who would take up the ministry gifts of the prophet on his departure. Moses prepared Joshua by laying hands on him (Deut 34: 9), Elijah gave a double portion of his anointing to Elisha (2 Kings 2: 1-14) and did indeed multiply the miracles that Prophet Elijah had done. Gehazi, unfortunately, lost out on his inheritance due to greed (2 Kings 4, 5). God’s method for succession in ministry has not changed. This is the greatest spiritual inheritance that leaders can leave in the earth. No matter the level of ministry, the leader ask God who He should impart the leadership gifts to. You have to ask God, because you can give your hard earned anointing to a Gehazi and this will be terrible, to say the least.

•Paul called Timothy a servant of the Lord (Phil 1: 1).

•Paul later elevated Timothy to the role of his delegate or ambassador to the churches with the mandate to deliver the letters of exhortation, correction, etc. One of these missions was to the Corinthians and Timothy’s task was to bring them into remembrance of Paul’s ways “which be in Christ” (1 Cor 4: 17). This was no easy task, because the Corinthians faced a lot of problems such as disorderly behavior at the Lord’s supper, condoning the conduct of a young man who had a sexual relation ship with his father’s wife (his mother?), fornication to name a few. Paul therefore had to warn them not to “give Timothy a hard time” (1 Cor 16: 10). He also sent Timothy to the brethren at Phillipi and Thessalonica in order to determine their state in the Lord (Phil 2: 19; 1 Thes 3: 2, 6).

THE CHARGE TO LEADERS

The Lord has clearly set the example in scriptures and (by His very own) that leaders must induct and mentor others into the ministry to which they are called. If we do not, where will we obtain the apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors to faithfully carry on the work of the ministry in the way in which the Lord wants it to be done? This mentorship is done only when the younger minister (not necessarily in age) can walk closely with the leader and learn from him or her. This is certainly not a position to which the Lord calls everyone, because many are called, like John Mark and Gehazi, but all of those who are called will not meet the demands that the Lord is looking for. The church of the Lord has successfully mass produced men and women with theological degrees. The question is whether or not they have the heart and passion for the Lord’s work? Are they taught Biblical truth in a distant, abstract, textbook manner, or is truth conveyed to them with fervor and passion by men and women who really know the Lord, like Paul did? May God bless you richly. Until next time!

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