Are You Missing the Voice of A Father?

Today’s selected reading is found in the second epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto his spiritual son in the faith and co-labourer in the work of the kingdom. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first two verses of the first chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the apostle Paul opening up and beginning his second epistle which would be written and delivered unto Timothy. We have previously concluded the first epistle which Paul wrote unto Timothy, and now we come to this next epistle which was essentially a sequel to the first epistle that was sent unto him. With this particular epistle Timothy joins the congregation at Corinth and the congregation at Thessalonica as the only recipients of two epistles. The churches and congregations of Corinth and Thessalonica were each congregations which the apostle Paul felt the tremendous need and burden to write—not one, but two epistles. It is actually quite interesting to read and consider this particular epistle for Timothy is the only individual in all of scripture who had two epistles written unto him by the apostle Paul. The only other individual within the New Testament who had two documents written directly unto and delivered to him was the most excellent theophilus. If you read within the New Testament you will find that the beloved physician Luke wrote an initial treatise unto Theiohilus detailing and describing the life and ministry of Jesus. The gospel according to Luke was a treatise which Luke wrote concerning the life and ministry of Jesus based on eyewitness accounts of all that He said and did. The second treatise which Luke wrote unto theophlis was a detailed account—not of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as he had done first, but rather an account of the life and ministry of the body of Christ within and upon the earth. Theophilus and Timothy were the only two men found within the New Testament who had two individual letters sent directly unto them—the one by the hand of the beloved physician Luke, and the other by the hand of the apostle Paul.

I have to admit that I absolutely love the fact that the apostle Paul saw fit and felt the need to write two distinct epistles unto Timothy during this time. When the first epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy was written, it was written unto him from the city of Laodicea—a city which would later have the church contained within it that would receive a letter from Jesus Christ Himself. When we come to this second epistle written unto this spiritual son and Co-labourer in the faith we find once more the apostle Paul feeling compelled to write another letter and epistle unto him. I absolutely love that the apostle saw fit to write a second epistle and letter unto Timothy, for Timothy was presents ministering among the Ephesian congregation in order to establish and strengthen them in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is not a doubt in my mind that the apostle Paul felt the need to bring instruction and encouragement into the heart and life of Timothy in order that He might continue to faithfully continue and carry out the ministry unto which he had been called. The more I read the epistles which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy the more I can’t help but be gripped with and by the fact that Timothy was undoubtedly struggling within himself with discouragement, and perhaps even fear and trepidation. I can’t help but get the strong sense that Timothy was most likely wrestling with a host of emotions and thoughts as he continued to carry out and fulfill that for which he had been called and specifically appointed by Jesus Christ through the apostle Paul. It is worth noting that because of the report Timothy had with and among the saints, and because of the rapport and relationship and reputation he had established among the saints, the apostle Paul greatly desired that Timothy would travel with him on his missionary journeys. What’s more, is that if you read the New Testament book of Acts you will find specific accounts when Timothy—together with Silas—remained and were left behind in specific areas and cities while the apostle Paul was forced to move on to the next city.

When you read the opening set of verses within the first epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy you will find the apostle Paul referencing his feeling compelled to instruct Timothy to remain in Ephesus. What’s more, is that when you read the words the apostle wrote unto Timothy in this first epistle, you will find that Timothy’s remaining in Ephesus carried with it a specific purpose. As you open up and read the first epistle which Paul wrote unto Timothy you will find the apostle Paul instructing Timothy to remain in Ephesus in order that He might directly confront the false doctrine and false teachings which were present and prevalent within the church. When I read the instructions of the apostle Paul unto Timothy to fight the good fight of faith, I can’t help but believe within the depths of my heart that that which the apostle was referencing was the great contending for truth directly in the face of deception, lies and falsehood. Timothy was instructed by the apostle Paul to remain in Ephesus in order that He might watch out for and look over this congregation in order that they might not be caught up and swept away in error. Eventually after some time past the moment the early church was established false doctrine and false teachings began to infiltrate the church, and the church began to be seduced by dangerous doctrines of demons. The apostle Paul felt very strongly that young Timothy was qualified and positioned to remain behind in Ephesus in order that He might directly combat and refute these erroneous doctrines and false truths within the congregation of Ephesus—Ephesus this church which was established by the apostle Paul earlier on in his ministry. Consider if you will the words and language which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy within his first epistle beginning with the third verse of the first chapter: “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do” (1 Timothy 1:3-4). It is quite clear from these words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy that his sole purpose for remaining behind in the city of Ephesus was that he might charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying.

There is something truly remarkable about the individual epistles which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy, for when you read how the apostle Paul opens each epistle, you will find that while he begins them similarly to the various other epistles he wrote unto the churches, he addresses Timothy in a very special way. Consider how the apostle Paul opens and begins the first epistle which he wrote unto Timothy, beginning with the first two verses of the first chapter: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Timothy 1:1-2). Notice and consider the words which the apostle uses to begin and open up the second epistle which he wrote unto Timothy beginning with the first and second verses: “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:1-2). Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of what is written and contained within the opening verses of these two epistles, for within the opening verses of these letters the apostle Paul speaks directly to Timothy in a very special way. In the first epistle written unto Timothy you will find the apostle Paul referencing Timothy as his own son, while in the second epistle we find the apostle Paul referring to Timothy with a more affectionate term—“my dearly beloved son.” Oh, please don’t miss or lose sight of what is taking place here, for if you study and examine the New Testament book of Acts, as well as the various epistles which were written unto to the churches, you will find the apostle Paul being quite fond of Timothy who was his co-labourer in the faith. I am convinced that in order to truly understand the language which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy, it is necessary and imperative that we turn our attention back to the New Testament book of Acts. In fact, if you begin reading with and from the first verse of the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find the first mention and the account of Timothy, and his encounter with the apostle Paul. Consider if you will the words which the beloved physician Luke uses in order to describe this particular encounter between the apostle Paul an Timothy:

“Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named TImotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily” (Acts 16:1-5).

The words which we find in the first five verses of the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament book of Luke brings us face to face with the very first occurrence between the apostle Paul and Timothy who would become a spiritual son in the faith. I am convinced that we cannot truly understand that which the apostle Paul was writing unto Timothy in each of his epistles without first understanding the tremendous connection and bond the apostle felt with Timothy while in Derbe and Lystra. That which we read of Timothy according to the beloved physician Luke was that he was a certain disciple who was the son of a Jewess woman who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. We also learn that Timothy was well reported of by the brethren which were at Lystra and Iconium, which undoubtedly means that he had distinguished himself from among the saints which were present within this region and within these two cities. Not only do we learn and discover that Timothy was a disciple, but we also learn that Timothy was well reported of by the brethren, thus indicating that he had built a tremendous rapport and reputation among the saints which were present in each of these cities. I am convinced that it was precisely because of the reputation Timothy had among the saints, as well as because of the fact that he was in fact a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ that appealed to the apostle Paul and caused him to be desirous that Timothy leave his mother, as well as his grandmother—perhaps even his father as well—in order that he might journey together with him. Timothy went from being a disciple who was well reported among the brethren at Lystra and Iconium to becoming a travel companion of the apostle Paul during and throughout his apostolic and missionary journeys within and throughout the region of Asia. What’s more, is that there were specific instances and occurrences when Timothy would be instructed by the apostle Paul to remain behind in a specific city or region, while he himself was compelled or forced to move forward to another city. Such an example is found when the apostle Paul—together with Silas and Timothy—came unto the region of Thessalonica, for you will read that while they were there, a great stirring and uproar was instigated among the inhabitants of the city because of the envy of the Jews. So great and so tremendous was the riot and uproar within the city that certain of the brethren compelled Paul to leave the city, and even helped him make his way to Berea. Despite the fact that Paul journeyed to Berea, Timothy and Silas remained behind in Thessalonica—perhaps to continue and carry out that which was begun by the three of them while Paul was still present among them.

When you read the opening verses of the first epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy you will find another account and example of the apostle compelling Timothy to remain in a specific geographic location. The first ever recorded instance of Timothy remaining behind in a specific city and region was of course the city of Thessalonica—a city which was incited to rise up in an uproar against the apostle Paul because of the doctrine and gospel concerning Jesus who is both Christ and Lord. What’s more, is that when you read the epistles which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Thessalonica, you seem to get the sense that he felt his time with them was cut far too short, and that he wished he had more time with them. Despite the fact that the brethren helped move Paul from the city of Thessalonica unto Berea, Timothy and Silas remained behind within the city in order to continue and carry out that which had been begun by them together within that city. What we find in the first epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy is actually quite compelling and remarkable, for the apostle Paul instructed and besought Timothy to remain behind in Ephesus while he himself went to Macedonia. The reason for Timothy’s remaining behind in Ephesus was in order that he might bring correction and rebuke to those who would rise up and teach false doctrines unto the saints which were present within the city. This reality is further confirmed by the fact that the apostle Paul himself believed and knew that after his departure from the city there would come among these saints those who would seek to destroy the congregation. Consider if you will the words which are found in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament book of Acts when the apostle Paul spoke unto the Ephesian elders knowing full well that he would never see their faces again. Beginning with the twenty-fifth verse of the twentieth chapter we find the following words written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke:

“And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:25-35).

It becomes quite clear and quite obvious when reading the final words which the apostle Paul spoke unto the Ephesian elders that he was concerned for what would take place after his departure. The apostle Paul makes it quite clear when speaking unto these elders that after his departure savage wolves would come in among them who would not spare the flock at all. After the apostle Paul would depart from this particular congregation—perhaps even the region itself—save wolves would come in among them who would speak perverse things, in order that they might draw away disciples after them. It is necessary that we read and understand that which the apostle Paul is speaking and declaring in this passage of Scripture, for that which the apostle Paul is speaking unto these elders is essentially a word of warning and caution concerning that which would undoubtedly take place after his departure. The apostle Paul knew full well that after his departure the adversary would raise up and sow tares among the wheat within this particular congregation in order that he might deceive and destroy the saints therein. There is a specific parable which Jesus spoke during His life and ministry, which is recorded by the apostle Paul in the thirteenth chapter of the gospel account which bears his name. Consider if you will the words which Jesus spoke in parables unto His disciples immediately after explaining the parable of the sower and the seed. Beginning with the twenty-fourth verse of the thirteenth chapter we find the following words:

“Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares? HE said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:24-30).

Within this particular parable we find Jesus telling a story of a man which initially sowed good seed in his field, but while men slept, the enemy of this man came and sowed tares among the wheat. At first the seed of the tares was not noticeable in the soil, for at that moment it was buried beneath the soil. As you read this parable you will find that this man who sowed good seed in his field did so not thinking or expecting an enemy and adversary to come stealthily by night to sow tares in the field. However, while men slept, this man’s enemy came by night and sowed tares among the wheat, and then quickly went his way. I can’t help but wonder how many days and mornings this particular man and his servants went out among the field and thought nothing of what lie buried beneath the surface in the soil of the ground. Consider how many days this man and his servants examined the soil and were completely unaware of that which was growing beneath the surface—that which was sown there by his enemy. Think of how many nights this man and his servants went to sleep not aware of that which was growing beneath the surface within the soil of the ground. It wasn’t until that which was sown upon the ground, and that which grew beneath the surface would break the surface and grow in the light that it became evident what had taken place. It wasn’t until both the wheat and the tares broke the surface that both were made manifest and visible unto this man and his servants. We must recognize and understand this, for just as this man’s enemy sowed tares among the wheat in this particular field, so also the enemy and adversary sowed tares in the church and congregation of the Ephesians. The apostle Paul knew what would happened, and he warned the Ephesian elders concerning what would happen, for he knew that the enemy would sow tares which at first might not be manifest and evident among the saints, but would later become visible and manifest in their midst. Paul knew that there would come savage wolves from among them who would not spare the flock, and which would teach false and seducing doctrines in order that they might draw away and entice disciples after them. The apostle Paul knew and was very much aware of the danger that lie before and in front of the Ephesian church, and saw fit to warn the elders therein of the dangers which lie ahead. It’s as if all the warning signs were presented before this particular congregation in order that they might be warned and prepared ahead of time for when it actually came to pass.

As we read the words contained within the first epistle written unto Timothy, we find the apostle Paul writing how he besought and instructed him to remain in Ephesus in order that he might teach men not to teach any other doctrine other than that which speaks directly of Jesus the Christ. The apostle Paul besought Timothy that he would remain in Ephesus in order that while in Ephesus he might refute and combat the false teachers and false brethren which would creep in among them. Oh, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for that which the apostle Paul asked of Timothy was not in any way shape or form easy to fulfill and accomplish at all. In fact, I am utterly and completely convinced that the reason we have these two epistles written unto Timothy in the New Testament is two specific attempts to encourage Timothy in the midst of the struggle and conflict—two specific realities which Timothy was no stranger to, for he was present with the apostle Paul in Thessalonica when the envy of the Jews caused them to incite the city into a a riot and uproar against them. It might also be said that Timothy also witnessed the great conflict and struggle that took place within the city of Corinth when the Jews opposed themselves and blasphemed against the apostle Paul, and against Jesus Christ and His Father in heaven. Timothy was absolutely no stranger to conflict and struggle, for he witnessed the great conflicts which took place in the cities of Corinth and Thessalonica. It is perhaps for this very reason the apostle Paul saw fit and believed that Timothy was perfectly capable of remaining behind in Ephesus and combatting the false teaching and false doctrine(s) that were being promoted among them. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul uses to conclude his first epistle which was written unto Timothy concerning this great conflict and struggle: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou. Keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: which in His times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babbling, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12-21).

When I read the words which are found in the opening set of verses in this second epistle I can’t help but be immediately gripped and seized with tremendous awe in response to what is taking place. On the surface it might not seem like that which the apostle Paul is doing is anything special or out of the ordinary, but I would strongly suggest that this simply isn’t the case. As you read the words which the apostle Paul is writing unto Timothy, you will find him referencing him—not only as a co-labourer in Christ, not merely as a fellow servant of Christ, nor even necessarily as son, but as “my dearly beloved son.” Please don’t miss the tremendous significance and importance of what is taking place here, for there is not a doubt in my mind that the task which was before Timothy was one that was incredibly challenging, and perhaps even difficult. Upon reading the words which the apostle Paul writes unto Timothy you will find that he speaks to him directly as a son, and what’s more—not merely as a son, but a beloved son. I would like to present to you the tremendous significance and importance of hearing the voice of your father, or perhaps even the voice of a father in your life. This is particularly and especially true if you are experiencing something that is far beyond yourself and so much larger and bigger than you. I can’t help but be reminded of Jesus Christ who might not have necessarily heard the voice of His Father speaking directly unto Him, but nonetheless heard that voice. What’s more, is that if you study the four gospels of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ you will notice that there were two specific occasions and occurrences when Jesus heard the voice of His Father. What’s more, is that not only did Jesus hear the voice of His Father, but He heard the voice of His Father speaking directly to Him as a Father to a Son. As you examine the four gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus you will notice the first occurrence of the Father speaking directly unto Jesus taking place on the day of His baptism when He was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. The first account of this occurrence is recorded by the apostle Matthew in the third chapter of the gospel account which bears his name. Consider if you will the account of Jesus at the Jordan River with his cousin John the Baptist:

“Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:13-17).

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the only mention of this occurrence of Jesus being baptized in the waters of the Jordan River and emerging from those waters to hear the voice of His Father speaking directly unto Him. IF you journey to the first chapter of the gospel account of Mark, as well as the third chapter of the gospel account according to the beloved physician Luke, you will find that both of these New Testament writers provided an account of Jesus’ baptism at the waters of the Jordan River. Both Mark and Luke—together with Matthew—not only recorded Jesus having emerged from the waters of baptism, but also the heavens opening up to him, the Spirit descending like a dove, the Father declaring unto those present “This is my beloved Son,” and the Father also declaring and expressing His great pleasure in the Son. What we must also recognize and realize is that this wasn’t the only occurrence where Jesus and those present around Him heard the voice of the Father speaking directly unto Him. If you journey to the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew—specifically the seventeenth chapter—you will find the account of Jesus atop the mountain with Peter, James and John as He was transfigured before their faces. Consider if you will the account of Jesus together with these three disciples beginning with the first verse of the seventeenth chapter:

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only” (matthew 17:1-8).

I am convinced that it is necessary that we read and understand each of these occurrences of Jesus and those around Him hearing the voice of His Father speaking directly unto Him, for I am convinced that Jesus needed to hear the voice of His Father expressing His great pleasure and delight in Him. What is absolutely incredible about the first occurrence when Jesus heard the voice of His Father speaking unto Him is that it took place at the very outset of His ministry before He had even performed a single miracle or taught a single thing. Before Jesus even engaged Himself in public ministry He heard the voice of His Father speaking directly unto Him as a Son—and not only did His Father speak to Him as a Son, but the Father also expressed great pleasure and delight in Him. ON the first occasion of Jesus hearing the voice of His Father in heaven the Father declared His great pleasure and delight in Jesus, while on the second occurrence the Father once more declared Him to be His Son, but also instructed those present there to hear and listen to Him. On the one hand we find an expression of pleasure, and on the other hand we find validation of ministry, for on the one hand we find the Father’s delight in His Son, and on the other hand we find the Father endorsing the public ministry and words of Jesus who is the Christ. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this—particularly and especially when we read the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy, for there is not a doubt in my mind that Timothy desperately needed to hear the voice of a father during this time in his life. What began simply as Timothy as being a disciple who was well-spoken of among the Christian community in Lystra and Iconium would transition to a powerful bond and familial relationship with the apostle Paul, as the apostle Paul would look upon him as a son. This is absolutely breathtaking when you consider the tremendous stress and pressure Timothy undoubtedly faced while serving the saints which were at Ephesus. I am convinced that the conflict and struggle which Timothy faced and experienced there at Ephesus was at times more then he could bear, which is why the apostle Paul sought to write not one, but two epistles and letters to him. What’s more, is that I am convinced that during those times there was nothing that could truly impact Timothy more than hearing the words from a father. Just like Jesus not only heard the voice of His Father in heaven twice, so also in each of these epistles Timothy was referred to by the apostle as son, thus providing a powerful connection to Jesus’ own life and ministry. In fact, I would dare say that the apostle Paul recognized the tremendous importance of needing to hear the voice of a father in this young man’s life, and made sure to call him “son” in each of his letters.

I am convinced that these four occurrences of the apostle Paul referring to Timothy as son were powerful statements of the apostle Paul of his great pleasure and delight in young Timothy. What’s more, is that we don’t know much about Timothy’s earthly father—other than the fact that he was a Greek. We aren’t given any details concerning his earthly father, and whether or not he was even involved in his life or not. What’s more, is that we aren’t even given any indication of the Heavenly Father speaking directly to Timothy within his ministry. This isn’t to say that Timothy did not hear directly from the Father in heaven, but that we aren’t given any occurrences of such an interaction. I am convinced that the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy, and his expression of familial relationship to him was in all reality an extension of the same reality which took place within the life of Jesus. In other words, that which the apostle Paul was doing was not only declaring unto Timothy his being a son, but also being an extension of the voice of the Heavenly Father speaking directly unto his Son. While it is true that Timothy was a son unto the apostle Paul, I am convinced that Timothy was a son of his Heavenly Father who was greatly pleased with him, and who delighted in him. I absolutely love what we find and what we read in these two epistles, for what we find is a powerful demonstration of the need to hear the voice of the Father at certain points and at certain times within our lives. I am utterly and completely convinced that there are times within our lives—particularly and especially when the conflict seems to be at it’s pinnacle, and the struggle seems to be at its zenith—and the one thing we need more than anything is to hear the voice of the father. Perhaps that voice will not proceed from our earthly father, but from one who has been likened unto a father unto us as the apostle Paul was unto Timothy. I am convinced that there are specific times in our lives when the war and the battle rages on without relenting, and the only thing we need is to hear the voice of our Father who is in heaven. Lest we forget, when teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus instructed them to pray using the words “Our Father.” We dare not miss or lose sight of the tremendous significance of this reality, for the voice of the Father is perhaps one of the most necessary realities within our hearts and lives. Regardless of whether we would like to believe, admit or accept it or not, we desperately need to hear the voice of a father, and even the voice of our Heavenly Father who is in heaven. There are times when it is only the voice of the Father that can truly help us through that which we are facing, or that which we are bound to face within and throughout the course of our lives. The single greatest reality that I would seek to leave you with is to not only be open to hearing the voice of the Father, but also to recognize your need to hear the voice of a father, and ultimately the voice of the Father who is in heaven. Oh that we would find ourselves in that place where the voice of the Father can break through all our defenses, and can tear down any and every wall within our hearts and lives, and minister unto us in spite of anything we might find ourselves going through—regardless of how difficult such events and experiences might be.

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