Paul to Timothy
The relationship between Paul and Timothy is one of my favorites. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy just before his execution. Throughout the letters, you can feel the love Paul has for Timothy. For example, knowing the end is near He asks Timothy to come to him, saying, “Be diligent and come to me quickly,” “Do your utmost to come before winter” (2 Tim. 4:9, 21). Their closeness was undeniable.
Throughout the two books, Timothy is encouraged in many things. But I believe the theme of those teachings can be summed up in one verse, 1 Tim. 6:11 when Paul exhorts, “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold to eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” Everything Paul taught Timothy was good and true; however, none of it was possible if Timothy did not cherish his faith.
According to my Strong’s concordance, the Greek word for “lay hold to” means to seize (for help, injury, attainment; literally or figuratively). When I use my Godly imagination, I can see a man tossed back and forth by the violent waves of life. And faith is the only thing he has to hold on to. It is the lifesaver in the tempest. Paul is telling Timothy to seize his faith no matter what the cost lest he drown. Every teaching on managing a local congregation, how to discipline and raise leaders, and how to discern the Word, would be a lost cost if the young man lost his faith.
Today, many people are drowning because they have not seized their faith. They have not seized their faith because no one has taught them how. Timothy learned from Paul through their relationship. Paul modeled a life captured by Christ, which is why he urged the church, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.” In other words Paul said, every good you see me do – do it! Every encouraging word I say – speak it! “Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith!” (1 Tim. 6:11-12).
The most important thing a father can teach his child is faith. Compared to eternity whether or not our children make the football team, go to college, or even marry, pales in comparison of where their eternal souls will end up. Hell is real, but Jesus paid the cost so that none would parish and would have everlasting life. That my friends, is what Paul taught his spiritual son and it is and will always be the most important lesson of all.