Vs. 1, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone…” As Christians it is our duty not only to be in the Word, but to also ensure that prayer is a vital part of our lives. But Paul even gets more specific with us regarding prayer…we are to pray for our Kings (President) and all of those in authority above us. I don’t know about you, but this isn’t always the easist thing to do. Yet, there is a powerful precedent for us to pray for our leaders becauses it simply pleases God. Sometimes we have good leaders and sometimes we have bad ones, but God desires all of them to be saved. Additionally….there are benefits of leaders who fear God vs. those who live pagan lives. Regarding women…the Gospel opened up so many opportunities for women, but this new found opportunity brought some of the women to disrespect authority, but don’t think that the men were not at fault either. The aspect of submission is not to degrade or look down…it is a picture of how all of us should submit to our Lord. We are all submitted to God.
Regarding application…Surrender. Vs. 8, “I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.” One of the things with prayer is that it helps to remind us all that we can’t live this life alone. Both public and private prayer help us to surrender to God…the lifting of hands signifies this gesture of surrender. Our mediator (Jesus) gives us that direct access to God when we surrender our lives in the word & prayer. I’ve been thinking of the small amount of hymns I know these days and I remembered “I Surrender All”, where the lyrics state, “All to Jesus I surrender, all to him I freely give.” This is quite a convicting statement and I realize in my own life that I must surrender not only all that I call mine…but also God’s will in my life. For over a decade, I knew exactly where God wanted me as a Youth Director at GKUMC. Surrending to God isn’t just at the salvation moment, or choosing the right college, choosing the right career, spouse, friends, etc. It’s a journey of surrendering our lives daily to our Lord. May we know God’s will and direction as our lives unfolds with His word & prayer.
Vs. 15, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” An appropriate reminder as Paul would point out to the younger Timothy because he was growing discouraged. Where there is good…evil will always try to prevail. Here we see the enemy attempting to distort the law and bring false teaching. It wasn’t the fact that they (false teaachers) were ignoarant as much as they had their own selfish agenda’s. Christian theologian Warren Wiersbe, “The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battleground.”
Regarding application…God Enables. Vs. 16, “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” Timothy, like most of us was discouraged because of his inexperience and youth. It seemed such a daunting task, yet Paul would remind Timothy that God does not give us something we cannot handle. My heart goes out to Nari & Youngjooo (two seniors) at GKUMC youth as they are asked to help lead the Youth Group in this time of transition without a Youth Director. But God will enable them just as He enables us each day to live as an example for this lost world. This is not based on our abilities or lack of them…rather it is Jesus who gives us the strength we need (vs. 12-17). So if you find yourself discouraged today, take comfort in knowing that we are not alone. As I scan the names of the recepients of this email, I find myself missing you all so very much. I thank God for each of you and pray you would fix your eyes on Jesus!
The two letters of Timothy are part of the Pastoral letters written by Paul because they give instruction concerning pastoral care for churches and the qualifications of those who serve. Paul probably composed this letter around 63-66 A.D., just prior to his final imprisonment in Rome. Paul chose young men such as Timothy to carry on the work and this letter was sort of like a manual for Godly leaders. Timothy is a 2nd Generation new believer (like 2nd Generation Koreans) and now Timothy would face all sorts of pressures, conflicts and challenges from the church & the culture around him. (NIV Audio Bible)