I’ve been reading in 2 Timothy recently. Paul was in a Roman prison awaiting his death where he would eventually be beheaded for his faith and ministry to God.
Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, his beloved friend. He was preparing Timothy for the work he would continue to do after Paul’s death. As I read the letter, I began to feel a deep desire to write a letter to my generational line as well and dear friends and family that may not know the Lord. It really is my duty to make sure, that those I love fall in love with Jesus! There really is no other job, is there?
As I looked at 2 Timothy, the chapter headings gave me a template for my letter. The first heading, Thanksgiving was a joyful way to start my letter to my loved ones. Paul reminds Timothy of the blessings, of the generational line that has made a difference in his life and strengthened him as a Christian. This scripture brought great feelings of appreciation for my ancestors who faithfully followed God. God has bestowed upon our family great blessings, and this seemed to spew forth easily on the paper as, I began to write my letter.
The second heading, Appeal for Loyalty to the Gospel began to hit home. This undoubtedly lead to a time of true reflection. How do I ask my generation line to be loyal to the Gospel at all times, when I know that I have not done so at all times in my past? But, the true learning is done in telling the stories of how I fell away, and when God would pull my back into his loving arms. Therefore, I will remind my loved ones, how I leaned on God when I had a stalker that allowed fear to creep into my heart.
The third heading, Examples of Disloyalty and Loyalty were easier to point out. Paul gave examples of how people were being disloyal and loyal and people today are repeating the same acts of disloyalty and loyalty. Paul describes how some friends turned away from him because of his strong faith in God. I too, have had people judge me for my faith, say ugly things about me as a Christian, or stop being my friend on social media. God warns us of this and tells us to perservere.
The fourth heading, The Appeal for Renewal, Paul charges Timothy to stay strong in the Lord. He reminds Timothy that if he endures suffering for God, he will reign with him. Therefore, in my words to my loved ones, I would remind them of the same thing. As Christians, we may be persecuted for our beliefs, but we will be with him forever in eternity if we live for him daily. If we look at the news around the world, even close to home (Canada) you will see Christians enduring persecution for their beliefs. I have lost a few friends recently due to boldness, but God remains good. Persecution of Christians is happening all over the world, but do we close our eyes to it, or do we pray about it?
The fifth heading, Dealing with False Teachers is something Paul warns Timothy of because there were people who were teaching incorrect teachings. Today, this can be seen and heard on tv, the radio, social media, etc. and as Christians, we need to be careful about false teaching. The Final Charge to Timothy from Paul, was to Press On. Paul describes how he was persecuted, and warns Timothy that he too may be persecuted, but reminds him that he has been equipped to handle everything that he will come into contact with. In my letter, I will tell my loved ones, that their Bible is the sword. They only need to read God’s word and pray fervently to seek God’s face, and they will know God’s will.
Finally, Paul ends with Personal Remarks, where he again reminds Timothy of those who will come against him, but Paul also says he forgives those who did not help him. I believe this is also a wonderful lesson to be written in my letter to my loved ones, to remind them to forgive. If they hold on to bitterness, it can keep them from praising the Lord and seeing the good things in their life.
My letter is not completed yet to my loved ones, it is a work in progress. It may take a while to create and edit, but I will finish it. Paul’s letter to Timothy is a letter of hope, just as my letter to my loved ones will also be a letter of hope and love. My hope is that you will write one too!
Blessings Sweet Friends,