Divine Working Relationships
God often chooses unlikely people to work for Him. Paul had once hated Jesus and persecuted the church; but he submitted to the command of Jesus to repent, be baptised and accept an apostolic commission (Acts 22:1-21)! He became the primary missionary and church planter. Timothy was a mixed-race teenager when he believed the gospel (Paul had visited his town of Lystra on his first missionary journey - Acts 14:8-20). When Paul revisited Lystra a few years later, Timothy was known as a young Christian man with spiritual maturity and integrity. Paul saw that Timothy had just the right attitude to be his helper, and from then on Timothy became part of the missionary team.
Over the years, Timothy served with Paul and was then sent to help churches that had already been planted. At the time of this letter, Timothy had been left in charge of the church in Ephesus, teaching the new believers and training the leaders. Paul trusted his ‘son’ Timothy – the man he had discipled to become God’s servant. Although Paul was personally absent, Timothy was safe in God’s grace, mercy and peace. However he still needed the Apostle’s help and instruction; which is the purpose of this letter.
The way that God brings people together to serve Him is divinely wonderful. First, God joins us to Himself as we repent, believe the gospel, and submit to Christ’s authority. But we are not to serve alone. He intends that we should also be linked with others. God creates those associations, alerting us to godly people who can help, train and encourage us: and He will also show us others who we can lead and strengthen to serve Him. But all of us are equally dependent on God’s mercy, without which we have no forgiveness or clear conscience. His grace is essential, otherwise we have nothing with which to serve Him; and His peace is our only secure resting-place in a turbulent world. Having received grace, mercy and peace - let us see how we can best fit together with others in spiritual worship and work. Divine relationships glorify the Lord.
© Dr Paul Adams