1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, for the sake of the promise of life in Christ Jesus: 2 To Timothy, my dearly loved son. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:1-2
Every great author or speaker understands the importance of the first few sentences or statements. You’d better grab your audience at the beginning, or you’ll lose them. It’s important to “buy the right” to take them to the next level with you. Most agree that you have around 60 seconds for a reader or listener to know if they want to keep tracking with you.
Paul obviously knew this. In the first two verses, he packs them full of why doing what he does (disciple-making) brings him so much joy.
In fact, here in verses 1 and 2, Paul gives four reasons he loves making disciples.
First, it’s because he knows this is God’s will for his life. According to verse 1, he knew God had called him to be an apostle. As an apostle, just like any Jesus follower, he was called by God to make disciples of the risen Jesus. It is always a joy when you know you are in the center of God’s will.
Second, Paul knows where true life comes from—for himself and for those he discipled. Again, in verse 1 he says he does what he does “for the sake of the promise of life in Christ Jesus.” Paul had tried other ways. Nothing brought life to him like following Jesus, obeying Jesus, and leading others to do the same.
Third, those Paul discipled had become like children to him. They were like his very own. He loved Timothy “dearly,” he says in verse 2. Paul prayed for him like a father does a son. Paul worried about him like a father does about a son. Paul wanted to check on Timothy’s progress and maturity. Paul didn’t know he had this love to give until he made Timothy a disciple of Jesus. Then, like the explosive love a father has for his son when he is born, the love dramatically appeared and stayed throughout his life.
Finally, Paul couldn’t help it. Making disciples had simply become who he was. His relationship with Jesus overflowed onto others. When he blesses Timothy in verse 2 with grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus their Lord, it is a response to what was going on in Paul’s heart. He was constantly receiving grace, mercy and peace from God and Jesus. That wellspring of life and joy overflowed onto Timothy as his disciple.
If Paul wanted to grab Timothy’s attention on the life-giving power of making disciples, he definitely bought the right to take him to the next level.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Paul was convinced he was fulfilling God’s will for his life. Are you? Do you believe you are in the center of God’s will? If so, what is it you are doing? If not, why not? Have you asked Him to show you?
- How has your relationship with Jesus brought your heart life and joy in ways other things can’t?
- Who is a spiritual “parent” to you (someone who poured into you the things of Jesus)? What did they do? Have you discipled someone? Are they like a spiritual “child” to you? How?
- What is Jesus teaching you right now that could potentially overflow into someone else’s life?
- Letter Beads
- Regular Beads
- Cut string long enough to make a bracelet
- Add colored beads on one end, letters in the middle and then more colored beads on the other side
- Use acronyms to help remind children to tell about God, here are some examples:
- FROG—Fully Rely On Jesus
- GAP—God Answers Prayers
- LIFE—Living In Faith Everyday
- WWJD—Walking With Jesus Daily
- JOY—Jesus, Others, You
You can also create bookmarks, or key chains instead of bracelets. Use these fun items as a reminder to share the Gospel.