18 Timothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the good fight, 19 having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have shipwrecked their faith.
1 Timothy 1:18-19
The relationship between Paul and a young man from the southwestern part of the Roman province of Galatia was a remarkable story of love, respect and loyalty that spanned decades. It all began in the mid 40s AD during the first missionary journey of Paul and Barnabas. One of the towns where they shared the gospel message of Jesus was Lystra. Paul had no idea of the impact his preaching had on one specific mixed-race family in this tiny village.
After completing their journey, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch to share the news that God had opened the door for Gentiles to become believers. Their excitement waned when they learned that some men had come down from Judea and taught that Gentiles must be circumcised before they could be saved. Paul confronted these men, and a major debate ensued. Paul, Barnabas and others from the church in Antioch traveled to Jerusalem and presented their concerns to the mother church. James and the elders agreed with Paul, and a letter for the churches in Asia Minor was written with very limited stipulations being placed on the Gentiles who sought salvation through Jesus.
Paul then decided he needed to return to the churches he had established during his first journey to check on their progress. Paul and Barnabas separated after a disagreement about John Mark, so Silas joined Paul for this second journey. When they arrived in Lystra, Paul learned that a young man named Timothy had become a believer as a result of hearing the message of salvation on Paul’s previous visit. The brothers in Lystra spoke highly of Timothy, so Paul asked Timothy to join him and Silas.
For the next few decades, as the three men traveled throughout Asia Minor, Macedonia and Achaia, Paul mentored Timothy. Their relationship grew, and Timothy became Paul’s beloved spiritual son and trusted ambassador for many individual assignments in his absence.
Genuine relationships don’t happen overnight. Paul spent years teaching, nurturing and grooming Timothy to become a strong and faithful follower of Christ. Paul equipped Timothy with the tools required to fight the evil influences he would face.
Similarly, our relationship with Christ requires us to spend time searching God’s Word for wisdom and direction as we combat the evil that is prevalent in our world today. There is also strength in numbers. We must connect with other believers and grow together as the “army of God” so we can battle against Satan’s lies and corruption.
In Esther 4:14, Mordecai told Esther “Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” Maybe the Church has come “to such a time as this” to strongly engage in the battle against the evil in our country today.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Am I prepared to engage in the battle against the evil around me?
- If not, what must I do to prepare for the battle?
Check out this map of regions of the world and the unreached people who live there. A people group is a people distinct in language, culture and geography. Some people groups contain a few thousand people, while others contain millions. Choose a region to pray for today.