An Example Of The Believers—1 Timothy 4:12
This manuscript from brother Wilkie is the last he prepared for FOOD FOR THE FLOCK, the magazine of which he was one of the founders, and to the last one of its loyal members.
His last written message is a spiritual challenge to all our readers.
It is intensely interesting to study the lives of the men and women mentioned in the Bible. The ways of God reveal wonderful wisdom in His dealings with different persons. Much helpful instruction and delight may result from meditation upon these events narrated in the Word of God. The recorded friendship of Paul and Timothy is one of the most pleasant companionships in the annals of history. Of course, any study of the life of Timothy should begin with his childhood.
His Home Life
What privileges he enjoyed! It is not difficult to understand, even from the little that is stated, the godliness of the home at Lystra. In that benign atmosphere he was raised by his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois (2 Tim. 1:5). He was taught the Scriptures by them, and from their example he learned the value and practice of prayer. The soil of his heart was thereby prepared for the good seed later to be sown by Paul. All the references to him suggest that he was of a retiring disposition, of a rather nervous temperament. In the list of friends named by Paul in his last letter, he approves of Timothy’s godly life and service (2 Tim. 4:21).
Paul visited Lystra where Timothy lived on both his first and second missionary journeys, between which there was a period of some seven years. During that interval, Timothy had grown to young manhood. The stoning of Paul and the persecution of the Christians must have made a profound impression upon his young heart (Acts 14:1-20). Shortly after this experience by Paul, it is stated of Timothy that he was a disciple (Acts 16:1). The Scriptures that he had learned made him wise unto salvation (2 Tim. 3:15), and inasmuch as Paul calls him “My own son in the faith” (1 Tim. 1:2), and “My dearly beloved son” (2 Tim. 1:2), we conclude that the last link in the circumstances that brought him to the Lord was the ministry of Paul.
His Christian Testimony
What kind of Christian was he? He was well reported of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium (Acts 16:2). Furthermore, this good report spread from his own town to Iconium so that the elders of both these assemblies chose him to do the work of an evangelist (1 Tim. 4:14). What joy this must have brought to the hearts of his mother and grandmother, and also to his spiritual fathler Paul! Others are watching our Christian testimony! Have we a good report among those that are without as well as those who are within the Church?
His Loyal Companionship
Timothy first joined Paul in his second missionary journey at Lystra (Acts 16:2), and travelled with him and Silas to Philippi where Lydia was converted. There although Paul and Silas were imprisoned the jailor was converted. After their release they moved on to Thessalonica and Berea where they met with further violent persecution. From Thessalonica Timothy rejoined Paul at Corinth (1 Thess. 3:6) and engaged in evangelistic work. Later he associated with Paul in Rome and was with him when he wrote the epistles to the Philippians, the Colossians, and the personal one to Philemon.
His loyalty and faithfulness made him a strong and reliable support to Paul. He was unselfish, humble, and affectionate for with Paul “he served as a son with the father,” sharing in the persecutions endured by Paul (Phil. 2:19-20).
We might well challenge ourselves as to whether or not we have these same qualities, and whether or not the Lord because of them would choose us for similar work!
His Sympathetic Comfort
The friendship that had existed between Paul and Timothy for fifteen years was drawing to a close. Paul was enduring his second imprisonment and was suffering from the winter cold. These sufferings were further intensified by loneliness so he wrote his last letter to Timothy. In this letter, he says, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me… The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments” (2 Tim. 4:9-13). The last picture of Timothy is of his possible arrival at the prison with these items for Paul who so soon was to be martyr of Jesus Christ. In the cloke Timothy brought physical comfort to Paul, in the books mental diversion and in the precious parchments, the Holy Scriptures, real spiritual nourishment and consolation.
Oh, that we as believers might emulate this young “man of God” as he is called. (1 Tim. 6:11). That the love of Christ may likewise constrain us to be as zealous as Timothy in our testimony and service for the Lord Jesus.