Man Your Post: Do Not Lose Your Voice, Do Not Lose Your Fight

Today’s selected reading is found in the second New Testament epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy who was his spiritual son in the faith. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the four chapters which make up this book. When you come to this particular epistle which was written by the apostle Paul you will not only find the second epistle which was written by the apostle unto Timothy his spiritual and beloved son in the faith, but you will also find the final epistle written by the apostle Paul before his death in the city of Rome. It’s actually something incredibly interesting when reading the words which are found in this particular epistle, for when the apostle Paul came to the end of his life he sought to write one last letter, and that final letter would be written to this young disciple whom he had met and found in Lystra and Derbe before engaging in the work of the ministry in some of the more prominent cities he would help establish churches. It would be there in Lystra and Derbe the apostle Paul would find this young disciple who was well spoken of by the brethren, and whom the apostle sought to bring with him as he traveled and journeyed through Asia and Europe fulfilling the divine mission and assignment that was upon his life. What makes this truly incredible is when you think about the fact that the apostle Paul invited Timothy to not only walk with him, but also to participate in and partake of the divine calling that was upon his life. If you read the epistles the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were in the various churches in Asia and Europe you will find him referencing how he was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how he was made an apostle of the Lord Jesus—not by the will of men, nor by and of men, but according to the divine will of the Father. The apostle Paul—in each of the epistles he wrote—would begin them all with the emphatic declaration that he was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it made no difference whether he wrote unto churches or individuals. Regardless of what epistle the apostle Paul would write and who his desired and intended audience was he would begin and open each epistle with the declaration of his apostleship—and not only of his apostleship, but also that his apostleship was of the Lord Jesus Christ and not of man.

            When you read the words which are found within the two epistles which were written unto Timothy you will find the apostle Paul seeking to write unto his beloved spiritual son in the faith as he had stepped into and was fulfilling his divine assignment and mission within the earth. It’s actually something quite interesting that as you read the words found in this epistle you will find the apostle Paul declaring unto Timothy that he had fought a good fight and that he had finished his course—almost as if the apostle Paul knew that his life was about to draw to a close. As you read the words found in this particular epistle you will find the apostle Paul writing unto Timothy as a father would write and speak unto a son—yet not only as a father would write and speak unto a son, but also as one who was essentially passing the torch to the next generation. You cannot read the words found within these two epistles and not encounter and come face to face with the absolutely astonishing reality that the apostle Paul was essentially writing unto the next generation of faithful ministers who would essentially carry on the work of the ministry within and upon the earth. The apostle Paul knew that his time here upon the earth was drawing to a close, and he knew that the time had come for him to depart from this world and to go the way of all the earth. It would with that knowledge the apostle Paul would seek to instruct and encourage that next generation, for it would be that next generation who would essentially take and pick up the mantle that was upon him within and throughout his ministry. You almost get the sense when reading these words that what is taking place is much like the prophet Elijah who would not only anoint Elisha as prophet in his stead according to the word of the Lord spoken unto him at Sinai, but also when Elijah would be taken and carried up into heaven in a fiery chariot and whirlwind.

            The more I think about and consider the words which are found within this epistle—and not only this epistle, but also the first epistle which was written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy—the more I am brought face to face with the fact that what we see before is not merely the apostle writing epistles unto Timothy whom he regarded as his beloved and spiritual son in the faith. The words which are found within these letters are essentially a charge and instruction given unto that next generation which would indeed be present within and remain upon the earth in his absence. It’s almost like the words which we find in chapters fourteen through sixteen of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John. It is within those particular chapters you will encounter Jesus knowing that His hour had come, knowing that the time had come for Him to glorify the Father in the earth, and to depart from this earth and return unto His Father in heaven. In fact, it would not only be in these chapters found within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find this language of speaking unto those who would be left behind the absence and wake of His departure, but this language would also be found in the final chapters of the New Testament gospel narratives written by the apostle Matthew, John Mark, and the beloved physician Luke. What’s more, is that if you read the opening chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find the departure of the Lord Jesus Christ as He would ascend unto the right hand of His Father who was in heaven. Oh we dare not miss and lose sight of this, for what’s quite interesting is when you think about and consider how the book of Acts would begin with the Lord Jesus Christ departing from this earth and ascending unto the right hand of the Father, and it would conclude with the apostle Paul in the city of Rome where he would abide and dwell before his departure from this earth. It’s actually quite astonishing and quite remarkable to read the words which are found in the New Testament book of Acts, for what would ultimately begin with the departure and ascension of the Lord Jesus the Christ from the earth unto His Father who was in heaven would conclude with the apostle Paul preparing for his own departure from this earth as he was a prisoner of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            In order to truly understand the language that is found within this final epistle of the apostle Paul—this second epistle written unto his spiritual and beloved son in the faith—it is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand this language of departure and this language of commissioning and charging the next generation. In fact, this is a motif and paradigm that is found within and throughout Scripture, for if you journey to the Old Testament books of Deuteronomy and Joshua you will find both Moses in the plains of Moab and Joshua in the land of Canaan preparing for their departure from this earth and their subsequent commissions and charges unto the children of Israel. What’s more, is that if you journey to the books of Second Samuel and First Chronicles you will find David king of Israel preparing for his own departure from this earth and his going the way of all the earth—the way of the fathers—and charging and commissioning his son Solomon in the absence and wake of his departure from the earth. WE dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and powerful truth, for it is this truth that helps us understand this motif of charging, commanding and commissioning the next generation. What’s more, is that it is not merely about charging, commanding and commissioning the next generation, but also charging them in the sight of the living God to pick up, carry on and carry out that which the previous generation had done and fulfilled within the earth. You cannot read the words which are found within this epistle and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that what the apostle Paul was doing was charging and commissioning Timothy to carry on and carry out the work which he had begun within the earth. What’s more, is that when writing unto Timothy in each of these letters you get the sense that Timothy was indeed already in some form of ministry within and among the churches of the Lord Jesus Christ.

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the awesome reality of that which is found and written within the second epistle written unto Timothy—this spiritual and beloved son of the apostle Paul in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ—and how the apostle Paul knew that the time and hour had come for his departure, and that the time had come for him to leave this world and to essentially be present with the Lord. Before the apostle Paul would depart from this earth, however, he would take to the pen one more time that he might write unto Timothy to charge, commission, command and instruct him concerning the ministry and calling which was before him. It is truly something worth thinking about and considering when reading the words which are found within this epistle, for within and throughout it you will find powerful charges and commands which were given unto Timothy by the apostle Paul as the apostle would seek to charge and commission him in the sight of the living God to continue, to carry out, and to complete the work which he had begun within and upon the earth. When writing unto Timothy in this final epistle the apostle Paul was essentially passing on the torch and passing on the mantle which was upon him in this life unto Timothy who was his spiritual and beloved son in the faith that he might take up that mantle and carry out the work which the apostle Paul had engaged in within this earth. There is found within and throughout this epistle powerful language concerning the apostle Paul seeking to write unto Timothy instructing and encouraging him to continue in the faith—and not only continue in the faith, but also to continue in the work of the ministry. We aren’t given any clue or indication as to whether or not Timothy had grown tired, or had grown weary, or had possibly even considered giving up in the work of the ministry, however, we do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the apostle Paul sought to write unto Timothy instructing, charging and challenging him to continue in the faith and to continue in the work of the ministry, and to do so with a tremendous and powerful warring and fighting within him. In fact, it would be in the first epistle the apostle Paul would write unto Timothy that we find him not only charging Timothy to war a good warfare, but also fighting the good fight of faith.

            Oh dear reader, as you read the words which are found within this particular epistle—and not only this epistle, but also the first epistle which was written unto Timothy—please do not miss the significance of that which the apostle Paul was doing, for essentially what the apostle Paul was doing for his spiritual and beloved son was laying hands on him once more. Of course we know the apostle Paul was not physically present with Timothy, and was not physically laying his hands upon him, however, we get the strong sense that in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the presence of the holy God, and in the company of all the holy angels in heaven the apostle Paul was laying hands on Timothy one more time through the words found within this epistle. The apostle—through the words which were found in this epistle—would spiritually lay hands on Timothy that he might charge and commission him to not only be faithful in the work of the ministry, but also to continue in the faith of faith. The language that is found written within this epistle must be carefully understood and considered, for the words found within and throughout this epistle offer a powerful glimpse into the heart of the apostle Paul as he would write unto Timothy that he might not grow discouraged and that he might not grow weary in well doing, and might faithfully continue in the work of the ministry which the Lord had called, ordained and appointed him unto. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of just how incredibly powerful this language truly is, for essentially that which the apostle Paul was doing for this young minister in the Lord was charging him to be a man of endurance, to be a man of courage, to be a man of boldness, to be a man of strength, to be a man of character, to be a man of integrity, and to be a man who walks in all pleasing unto the Lord. It is with this in mind—and before I delve into the language that is found within this epistle—I would invite you to consider the following words which are found written in the Old Testament books of First and Second Kings. It is within these two Old Testament books where we not only find the anointing of Elisha to rise up and serve as prophet in the stead and place of Elijah, but also where we find Elisha asking for a double portion of the spirit which was upon Elijah. The prophet Elijah would acknowledge that what Elisha asked for was a difficult thing, however, if he was with him and saw him when he went up into heaven he would receive what he had asked for. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these Old Testament books:

            “Go return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: and Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:15-18).

            “So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him. And he left the oxen, and ran after ELIjah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, GO back again: for what have I done to thee? And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him” (1 Kings 19:19-21).

            “And it came to pass, when the Lord would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Beth-el. And Elisha said unto him, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Beth-el. And the sons of the prophets that were at Beth-el came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, KNowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Elisha tarry here, I pray thee; for the Lord hath sent me to Jericho. And he said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they came to Jericho. And the sons of the prophets that were at Jericho came to Elisha, and said unto him, KNowest thou that the Lord will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace. And Elijah said unto him, Tarry, I pray thee, here; for the Lord hath sent me to Jordan. And the said, As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. And they two went on. And fifty men of the sons of the prophets went, and stood to view afar off: and they two stood by Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israe, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; and he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? And when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him” (2 Kings 2:1-15).

            When you read the words which are found within these passages of Scripture you will be brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that when the Lord instructed Elijah to anoint Elisha, He was instructing him to do so that Elisha might stand and serve as prophet of the most High God in the land of Israel. What’s more, is that when you continue reading in the same chapter you will find Elijah finding Elisha as he was plowing with oxen, and casting his mantle upon him. It’s actually quite unique when reading these words, for you won’t Elijah anointing Elisha with oil as Samuel would have done with David in the company and presence of his brethren and his father. When Elijah came unto Elisha that he might be raised up in his stead as prophet in the land of Israel we find him merely casting his mantle upon him—a gesture that was undoubtedly recognized by Elisha, for Elisha first asked if he could return and kiss his father, and would then offer the oxen which was before him as a sacrifice unto the Lord. What we find in the nineteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings presents us with the commission and charge to anoint Elisha as prophet in the stead of Elijah, as well as the casting of the prophetic mantle upon Elisha. What we find in the second chapter of the book of Second Kings is something that is quite different from that which is found in the first book, for it is in the second chapter where we not only find Elisha making the deliberate and intentional decision to remain and abide with Elijah regardless of where he went—even if following him meant going to Gilgal, going to Jericho, and going unto Jordan. It would be after journeying unto these three places that Elijah would turn to Elisha and ask what he desired and prayed that he would do for him—to which Elisha asked for a double portion of the spirit that was upon Elijah. This is actually quite interesting, for Elisha knew that he had been chosen and anointed to serve in the stead of the prophet Elijah, and it was that knowledge that caused him to desire a double portion of the spirit that was upon Elijah. Elisha undoubtedly knew what was required of him to stand and serve before the Lord as prophet in the land of Israel, and he was careful and deliberate to ask for a double portion of the spirit which was upon Elijah. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the tremendous importance of this, for it brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that surrounds one generation passing down unto the next generation the mantle that was upon them. Elijah knew that the time of his departure was at hand, and as a direct result of that knowledge he would charge Elisha with his willingness to continue walking with and following him that he might truly step into that which he had been called, ordained and appointed unto.

            This language of charge and commission is actually quite remarkable and astounding when you truly take the time to think about it, for it helps us to truly understand that which is found in the second New Testament epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy—and not only the second epistle, but also the first epistle. What’s more, is that as we read the words which are found in the second epistle written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy we are brought face to face with the underlying and overwhelming fact that there was a great need for the apostle Paul to once more lay hands on this young disciple—and not only this young disciple, but one who would be a faithful minister and servant of the Lord. It is in the first and opening chapter of this epistle you find the apostle Paul referring to the gift of God which was found within Timothy which was put on him by the laying on of his hands. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality and truth, for it brings us face to face with the awesome and powerful truth that there was most certainly an initial laying on of hands which imparted a spiritual gift unto this young disciple, however, there would need to be this second “impartation” and this second “laying on of hands” that would be needed within the life of Timothy. This is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to, as there is not a doubt in my mind that Timothy was in a place within ministry as a servant of the Lord where he needed additional encouragement—encouragement that only a spiritual father could provide. This is something we must recognize and consider when reading these words, for there is not a doubt in my mind that through this epistle the apostle Paul would once more “lay hands” on Timothy—albeit through the words he would write unto him.

            Upon reading the words found in this epistle you will find the apostle Paul emphatically declaring unto Timothy something he had written and declared unto certain churches which received epistles and letters from him—namely, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae and Thessalonica. It would be in the opening verses of this epistle you find the apostle Paul thanking the God whom he served with his forefathers with and out of a pure conscience, and how without ceasing he made mention and remembrance of Timothy in his prayers night and day. Pause for a moment and think about the progression that would have taken place within the life of Timothy, for the apostle Paul would have him circumcised since there was knowledge of his father being a Greek, the apostle Paul would lay his hands upon him that he might impart the spiritual gift of God within and upon him, the apostle Paul would invite Timothy to walk with and follow him as he engaged in his apostolic and missionary journeys, the apostle Paul would entrust with care and ministry within the churches, and the apostle Paul would now write letters and epistles unto this disciple turned faithful minister and steward in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be in this second epistle where the apostle Paul would take this even further and intimately and passionately declare and describe unto Timothy that he did not cease to have and make remembrance of him night and day within his prayers. I am absolutely convinced that the apostle Paul would continue to “lay hands” on Timothy as he would make mention of him night and days in his prayers, and it is here within this epistle the apostle Paul would reaffirm—not only that initial laying on of hands which would impart a spiritual gift of God within and unto him, but would also reveal a secondary laying on of hands. What makes this second “laying on of hands” and this second “impartation” is that it wasn’t necessarily and specifically the impartation of a spiritual gift, but rather it was an impartation of strength, an impartation of encouragement, an impartation of courage, an impartation of faith, and an impartation of trust within the heart of Timothy. We must needs realize and recognize that in the final chapter of the first epistle which Timothy received from the apostle Paul he would be charged to “fight the good fight of faith”—something which is at the very heart of this second epistle which was written unto him.

            The more I think about and the more I read this second epistle which was written unto Timothy the more I am brought face to face with the absolutely incredible and tremendous truth that there was a great need within the heart of Timothy for the apostle Paul to continue investing in him—and not only investing in him, but also imparting unto him additional grace and additional strength that was needed to fulfill, complete and carry out the divine mission and mandate the Lord Jesus had required of him. It would be through this second epistle the apostle Paul would acknowledge the conflict and struggle that was perhaps raging within the heart and soul of Timothy, as the apostle Paul referenced how he was mindful of his tears in order that he might be filled with joy. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this awesome and incredible truth, for it brings us face to face with the truth that while receiving a spiritual gift from God through the laying on of hands is indeed and is in fact necessary and beneficial—there are times when there is an additional impartation that is needed. This is perhaps best evidenced when we read the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John, as well as the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament you will find the Lord Jesus breathing on the disciples—and not only breathing on the disciples, but commanding and instructing them to receive the Holy Spirit. This is quite necessary to realize and recognize, for when you come to the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find one-hundred and twenty souls present in the upper room when a sound like as a mighty rushing wind would fill the room where they were, and they would all be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. What’s more, is that if you read the final chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by Luke, as well as the first chapter of the New Testament book of Acts you will find Jesus speaking unto and instructing the disciples and followers to remain and abide within the city of Jerusalem until they be endowed with power from on high. Consider if you will the words with are found in the twentieth chapter of the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, the words found in the second chapter of the New Testament book of Acts, as well as the words which are found in the final chapter of the gospel narrative written by Luke, as well as the words which are found in the first chapter of the same book of Acts:

            “Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, He shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, HE BREATHED ON THEM, AND SAITH UNTO THEM, RECEIVE YE THE HOLY GHOST: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained” (John 20:19-23).

            “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every mand heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:1-8).

            “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:45-49).

            “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: to whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: and, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which siath he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 2:1-8).

            I am absolutely convinced we must needs pay close and careful attention to the words which are found within these passages of Scripture, for in the twentieth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Acts we find Jesus breathing upon the disciples—and not only breathing on them, but also commanding and instructing them to receive the Holy Ghost. What makes this all the more astonishing is when you think about and consider the fact that it would be shortly thereafter they would be in an upper room—perhaps similar to the room they were in on this occasion, or the very same upper room—and on the day of Pentecost all those who were present in the upper room would not only receive and be filled with the Holy Spirit, but would also speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. First came the initial breath and first came the initial encounter in the upper room with Jesus as He breathed on them, and then would come the actual impartation of the Holy Spirit and fire. This is something that warrants strong consideration, for it not only speaks of the initial impartation those whom Jesus breathed upon would receive, but it also speaks of the actual second gift and second grace the disciples themselves would receive. It’s interesting and worth noting that nowhere in any of the gospels do we find record of the disciples being baptized in water, and yet what we find in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John, as well as in the book of Acts is the disciples being baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. This is truly something that warrants strong consideration, for while there is no record of the disciples perhaps entering into and receiving that first gift of baptism we indeed find them receiving and being filled with the Holy Spirit. It would be in the upper room where the disciples and perhaps those with them would receive the first impartation, while it would be later on when the disciples and the other one-hundred and nine souls who were with them would receive that second impartation and that second gift—that gift which would actually enable them to be witnesses for and unto Christ in Jerusalem, in Judaea, in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.

            I reference and mention the words which are found in these passages of Scripture, for the apostle Paul references the unfeigned faith which was first in Timothy’s grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, and which he was persuaded was in him as well. It would in the fifth verse of the opening chapter of this epistle we find the apostle Paul referencing the faith that was in Timothy, and it would be in the sixth verse of the same chapter we find the apostle Paul calling him to remember the gift of God that was imparted unto and within him by the laying on his hands. What’s more, is the apostle Paul not only sought to call him into remembrance of the gift of God that was present within him, but he also instructed, charged and commanded him to stir up the gift. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this, for it is not enough to merely possess the gift of God within our hearts and our spirits, but we must also stir up the gift of God that has been imparted unto us within this life. The apostle Paul not only called Timothy to remember the gift of God that was present within him—that gift of God which was in direct relation to the unfeigned faith which was also present within him—and not only sought to remind Timothy that the gift of God within him came as a result of the laying on of his hands, but the apostle Paul also charged him to stir up the gift which was present within him. It is this concept of stirring up the gift that I feel is absolutely necessary for us to understand and consider, for I am absolutely convinced that there is a New Testament parable which Jesus spoke unto His disciples and followers—a parable that describes the talents which were entrusted unto three different individuals. It is within the New Testament gospels you find this parable which not only describes the entrusting of talents in measure unto three different servants, but where you will also find two of the servants taking that which was given and entrusted unto them and putting it to work that they might bring forth an increase, while one took the talent and buried it. Consider if you will the following words which are found within this parable as it is written and recorded within the gospel narratives:

            “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and recknoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 25:14-30).

            This parable is actually quite astonishing and remarkable when you take the time to think about what stirring up the gift might indeed and might actually look like, for I would dare say that simply put—stirring up the gift of God that is within us is actually taking it and putting it to good use. Both the servant who was given five talents, as well as the servant which was given two talents both took that which was entrusted unto them and put it to use. Not only did they take that which was entrusted into them and put it to work, but they also each gained more than what they were initially entrusted with. We dare not and must not miss that which is found in this parable, for there is not a doubt in my mind that stirring up the gift that is present within us entails, embodies and includes our actually taking it and putting it to good use. For Timothy, the apostle Paul understood that there was indeed a spiritual gift of God which was present within him—one that came as a direct result of the laying on of hands. The apostle Paul would lay hands on Timothy and would impart unto him a spiritual gift which he would in turn use as a faithful servant and minister of the Lord. Pause for a moment and think about how absolutely incredible this truly is when you consider that stirring up the gift of God within us means taking what has been given us and putting it to work in the earth—putting it to use for the purposes and intentions we have been called and chosen. I am absolutely and completely convinced that stirring up the gift of God within and among us is a powerful invitation to not only recognize and understand the gift that is present within us, but also taking that gift and exercising it within and upon the earth among men. The apostle Paul instructed Timothy to stir up the gift of God that was present within him, and would them emphatically declare unto him that God has not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the tremendous truth that is found within the opening chapter of this particular chapter, for there appears to be an intrinsic and apparent link between faith, between the gift of God which is present within us, between power, love and of a sound mind, and also our being unashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of His servants who are suffering affliction, tribulations, persecution and suffering.

            If and as you read the words which are found within this passage of Scripture you will encounter and come face to face with the reality that in the fourth verse the apostle Paul spoke of the tears which were shed by Timothy, while in the fifth verse the apostle Paul speaks of the unfeigned faith which was present within him. In the sixth verse of this passage of Scripture we find the apostle Paul reminding Timothy of the gift of God that was present within him—and that gift which was placed upon him by the laying on of his hands. As you come to the seventh verse you will find the apostle Paul boldly and emphatically declaring unto Timothy that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but has instead given us power, love, and of a sound mind. The eighth verse is an invitation given unto Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, nor of the apostle who was his prisoner in chains and bonds. Those words which are found in the eighth verse take on an entirely different level and meaning when you consider how the apostle Paul also instructed and charged Timothy to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God. It is only when you consider all of these verses together you will discover and uncover a truly wonderful picture beginning to emerge, for there seems to be a direct connection between the tears which Timothy cried and perhaps the fear that was present within his heart and soul. What’s more, is within these verses the apostle Paul speaks of and refers to fear as a spirit, thus indicating that it is possible for Christians, for disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to be assaulted, attacked and oppressed by the spirit of fear. There is not a doubt in my mind that Timothy was not only being assaulted and assailed with and by the spirit of fear, but that this spirit of fear was producing this weeping, this anguish, this sorrow and this despair within his heart and soul. The expression and manifestation of this despair and anguish within his soul would be manifested with and by the tears which he would cry—tears which the apostle Paul would himself hear and be aware of. It would in response to these tears Timothy would cry the apostle Paul would not only remind him of the spiritual gift that was within him, but also how God had given him power, love and a sound mind.

            The more you read the words which are found within this opening chapter the more you will find the apostle Paul responding to this period of tremendous struggle, conflict and warfare within Timothy, for there is not a doubt in my mind Timothy was not only struggling with the spirit of fear that sought to assault and assail him, but also something much greater—that of the need to not only be unashamed of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel. We must needs pay attention to that which is found here, for directly linked to this fear was not only the charge to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, but also the willingness to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel—and to do so according to the power of God. It would in the seventh verse the apostle Paul would write and speak unto Timothy how the Lord had not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind, and it is in the eighth verse of the same chapter the apostle Paul writes and describes how we endure and partake of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God. There is not a doubt in my mind that this being unashamed of the testimony of the Lord and this willingness to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God is directly linked and intrinsically connected to his warring a good warfare and his fighting the good fight of faith. I previously wrote how there are times within our lives when faith has not and does not come easy, and how it is truly and indeed a fight—and not only a fight, but that which we must war a good warfare to lay hold of. I also wrote concerning the fight that is within us needing to be greater than the fight that is present before and all around us, and this is especially true as it pertains to the good fight of faith. How absolutely tremendous and incredible it is to think about and consider that this fight of faith not only touches our willingness to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, but also our not being ashamed of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a truly awesome and powerful thought it is to think about how God has not given us a spirit of fear, but has indeed given us power, love and a sound mind—that which sustains and upholds us in the midst of suffering, in the midst of persecution, in the midst of affliction, and in the midst of tribulation.

            If there is one thing I truly love and appreciate when reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it’s how only a few verses later you will find the apostle Paul emphatically declaring that he was not ashamed of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and was not ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, for he knew in whom he had believed. The apostle Paul knew in whom he believed, and he was persuaded that He was and is able to keep that which he committed unto him against the day of the glorious appearing and returning of the Lord Jesus Christ. What is important to realize and understand when reading the words of the apostle Paul in this passage of Scripture is not only the willingness to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God within us, but also our being unashamed of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul would first instruct and charge Timothy to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, and then he himself would declare that he was not ashamed and would gladly suffer all things for the sake of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the gospel which he preached. We must needs recognize and pay close and careful attention to what is found here, for I would dare say that what Timothy faced and experienced was a spirit of fear that would seek to assault the testimony of the Lord Jesus within his life—and not only the testimony of the Lord within his life, but also the testimony of the Lord which would be present in the midst of his life. What’s more, is as you continue reading the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy you will find him charging and instructing Timothy to hold fast the form of sound words, which he heard of the apostle Paul in faith, and love which was in Christ Jesus. This would immediately be followed by the apostle Paul charging him to keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelt in him that good thing which was committed unto him—undoubtedly committed unto him by the apostle Paul by and through the laying on of hands. It is this charge and this instruction found within this epistle that truly confronts this need for impartation within the life of Timothy, for there is not a doubt in my mind that Timothy was indeed and was in fact assaulted and assailed by the spirit of fear which would be manifested by and through those false brethren, those false teachers, those false apostles, and those false prophets which would rise up against him and against the brethren.

            There is not a doubt in my mind that in order to truly understand that which was desperately and truly needed within the heart, within the mind, and within the life of Timothy as a faithful minister of the Lord Jesus Christ we must needs consider that which the apostle Paul charged him with. You cannot read the words the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy without encountering and coming face to face with all the tremendous challenges and charges he gave unto this disciple turned faithful brother and fellow minister in the Lord. The words which are found within this second epistle written unto Timothy—and not only this epistle which was written, but also the first epistle—bring us face to face with this second impartation and this second “laying on of hands” which the apostle Paul would indeed engage in. Although the apostle Paul could not be present with Timothy in physical and bodily form he could be with him in spirit and in heart. It would be in the second chapter of this epistle which was written unto the Timothy we find the apostle Paul continuing to charge Timothy along the lines of this realm of conflict, of struggle, of warfare and of battle. It is as you come to the second chapter you find the apostle Paul continuing to charge and urge Timothy in this conflict, in this struggle and in this battle he would face as a disciple and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ—but more importantly as a good soldier of Jesus the Christ. This actually brings me face to face with something I can’t help but think about and consider, and that is how many of our churches have “Christians,” and many of our churches have those who profess to be disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet there are very few churches present among us that have soldiers of Jesus Christ. What’s more, is that there is not only a need for there to be soldiers of Jesus Christ, but good soldiers of Jesus Christ. It’s interesting and worth pointing out that within the first epistle the apostle Paul instructed Timothy to fight “the good fight of faith,” while in this second epistle he instructed Timothy to endure hardness as “a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Please don’t miss that which is found within these two charges and commands given unto Timothy, for the first references the good fight of faith, while the second references being a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

            THE INTRINSIC LINK BETWEEN ENDURING HARDNESS AS A GOOD SOLDIER OF CHRIST AND FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT OF FAITH! I am absolutely and completely convinced that there is an intrinsic link and connection that exists between our fighting the good fight of faith and our willingness to not only be partakers of the afflictions of the gospel of Jesus, but also our enduring hardness—and doing so as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. I firmly believe that the way we fight the good fight of faith is to live a life that is absent the manifestation of being ashamed of the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, and to not only be partakers of the affliction(s) of the gospel of our Lord Jesus, but to also endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. We dare not, we cannot and must not miss and lose sight of what is found before us within this passage, for that which we find here in this passage is a powerful charge given unto us—not only to endure hardness, but to do so as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. We know and are aware of disciples who walk with and follow Christ, however, one thing we don’t give as much credence and merit to is the need to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul charged Timothy to endure hardness—and not only to endure hardness, but to bear up in the midst of it and essentially take it as a soldier of Jesus Christ. Not only this, but both the fight of faith is good, and the soldier of Jesus Christ must also be good. THE GOOD FIGHT & THE GOOD SOLDIER! How absolutely astonishing it is to think about and consider the words which are found within these epistles, for as you read the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy who was his spiritual son in the faith he sought to impart unto him something that was absolutely critical in this life—namely, the ability to endure hardness and to be partakers of the afflictions and suffering of the gospel.

            One of the questions I can’t help but ask myself when reading the words found in these epistles is how many of us can truly endure hardness within this life. How many of us can truly endure hardness within this life, and can partake of the afflictions of the gospel of God? How many of us are truly able and capable of ending hardness and affliction within this life—and do so as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. There is a great need for men and women among us within our churches to possess the power, the love and the sound mind which the apostle spoke of in this second epistle. It is when you come to the second chapter of this New Testament epistle written unto Timothy you will find the apostle continuing this charge given and spoken unto Timothy—one that would seek to bring him to the place where he would be able to endure hardness, affliction, suffering and persecution. The more I consider the narrative and account of Timothy the more I can’t help but think and come face to face with the fact that when he began walking with the apostle Paul he would see a completely different side of discipleship—one that would be altogether different from what he had experienced in Lystra and Derbe. It would be as Timothy walked with and accompanied the apostle Paul on his missionary and apostolic journeys that he would witness and behold—and not only witness and behold, but come face to face with true affliction, true suffering, true tribulation and true persecution for the sake of the gospel. The New Testament book of Acts presents us with Timothy walking with and following the apostle Paul on his apostolic and missionary journeys, and it would be as he walked with the apostle Paul that he would witness tribulation, suffering and affliction in Philippi, in Thessalonica, in Berea, in Corinth, and even in Ephesus. Timothy would see and witness firsthand the labor, the toil and the struggle that surrounds the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, and how the apostle Paul would do more than simply labor for the gospel, but would also labor in affliction, in tribulation, in suffering and in persecution. The apostle Paul was willing to endure whatever was necessary that the gospel might preached unto and among those whom he would encounter in the various cities he would journey.

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find myself being absolutely gripped with and by the awesome and powerful truth that one of the greatest needs is not only for men and women to give themselves unto a willingness to endure hardness and affliction for the sake of the gospel, but also to be willing to demonstrate Christ in their own suffering. Oh there is something about the gospel being preached side by side with the demonstration of suffering that must needs be recognized and understood, for men and women must be willing to give themselves for the sake of the gospel they are preaching. Oh there are many men and women among us who are willing to preach the gospel and who are willing to proclaim the word, yet there are very few among us who are willing to preach the word and allow it to be partnered together with afflictions, suffering, tribulation, persecution and opposition in this life. There are men and women who expect the preaching of the gospel concerning the Lord Jesus Christ to be something of relative ease, comfort, peace and comfort, and be completely and entirely absent suffering, affliction and persecution. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there are many voices present among us which can and will be silenced when persecution and suffering rises up among us for the sake of the gospel. I firmly believe there are going to be countless ministries and organizations that are going to lose their voice when affliction and tribulation arise because of the preaching of the word, and they are going to lose their voice and their message when it is no long popular, no longer convenient, and no longer accepted and allowed among us within this nation and within this generation. This is perhaps what is so incredibly vital and important about the epistles which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy for at the very heart of these epistles is perhaps one single truth—that of the apostle Paul charging Timothy to not lose his voice.

            DO NOT LOSE YOUR VOICE! DO NOT LOSE YOUR VOICE IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING! DO NOT LOSE YOUR VOICE IN THE MIDST OF AFFLICTION! DO NOT LOSE YOUR VOICE IN THE MIDST OF TRIBULATION! I sit here tonight thinking about and considering the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy and I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth that the apostle Paul’s greatest desire for Timothy was not merely that he would endure hardness and be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel, but that he would not lose his voice. Time and time again within this epistle you find the apostle Paul writing and speaking unto Timothy concerning the message he would preach and the words he would teach. There would be countless charges and commands given unto Timothy that all centered upon one truth and one truth alone—namely, that he would not lose his voice. Oh there would indeed be men and women who lost their voice, their witness and their testimony during hardship, during affliction, during tribulation and during suffering, and that which the apostle Paul sought to encourage Timothy was not to lose his voice and not to lose his witness and testimony in this life. The apostle Paul recognized and understood the importance of witness and testimony in the midst of suffering, in the midst of affliction, and in the midst of tribulation, and I can’t help but wonder how many men and women among us have written off and discarded the gospel and message we have preached unto them because they have observed our witness and testimony being nullified when we face tribulation, affliction, persecution and suffering. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind that one of the greatest ways to destroy our witness and testimony in this life and among those who we are called to minister to is our inability to endure hardness and our unwillingness to be partakers of the afflictions and suffering of the gospel. There is not a doubt in my mind that one of the greatest detriments to our witness and testimony within this earth is that of our inability to rise up and bear up in the midst of suffering, in the midst of affliction, and in the midst of tribulation.

            I am absolutely convinced that the single greatest purpose behind these epistles which were written unto Timothy was to bring Timothy to the place where he would not lose his voice, and where he would not lose his witness and testimony in the earth. The apostle Paul knew how important witness and testimony were in the earth—and not only testimony and witness, but also one’s voice unto and among others who need to hear the gospel. Oh I can’t help but think about and consider how many men and women are completely and entirely turned off to the gospel—not because they don’t believe the gospel, nor even because they don’t in some shape or form believe in Jesus, but because they have yet to encounter a good soldier of Jesus Christ who can truly endure hardness and who is willing to partake in the afflictions of the gospel. There are men and women who have heard the gospel preached concerning Jesus—and have even heard a gospel preached concerning how Jesus suffered and died—and yet what they haven’t witnessed is suffering Christians who are able to endure suffering, affliction, tribulation and persecution as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ. They read the word of God—specifically the four gospel narratives and the book of Acts—and they see a suffering Christ, and they see a crucified Christ, and they see a suffering church, and yet what they don’t see is any witness in our modern day generation that even remotely and closely resembles that of Christ the head, nor even the church which was formed and created in the days after the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ unto the right hand of the Father in heaven. There are men and women who are just waiting for that man or that woman to stand up as a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ, and actually bear up under and endure suffering and affliction as a good soldier of the Lord Jesus Christ. Additionally, there are those “Christians” and those “ministers” among us within this generation who have lost their voice and lost their witness—not only because they have grown and become offended as a result of suffering and persecution, but also because they have been unable to bear up under and in the midst of them.

            The two epistles which were written by the apostle Paul unto Timothy his spiritual and beloved son in the faith were designed and intended on charging Timothy to maintain his testimony and his voice in the midst of the earth. Even though he would face and experience affliction, persecution, suffering and tribulation in this life for the sake of the gospel, he was not to lose his voice, nor was he to lose his testimony. There was something good inside him that was of God, and there was a spiritual gift inside him which came as a result of the apostle Paul laying hands upon him. This must needs be carefully considered and recognized, for when you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you are brought face to face with the powerful truth that Timothy had great need of power, of love and of a sound mind. Timothy had great need to be a partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according and unto the power of God. Not only this, but Timothy also had great need of not entangling himself with the affairs of this life, but to in fact distance and set himself free from them. In fact, you will remember and recall the words which Jesus spoke in the parable of the seed and the sower, and how the seed which feel among the thorny ground represented those who heard and received the word, and yet the cares of this world, the love of money, and those things in this life choked the word from within their hearts. The apostle Paul sought to endure that Timothy distanced and removed himself from the cares and affairs of this world, for he knew that the affairs of this life and the care of this world would indeed choke the word, the witness and the testimony that was present within him. OH perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are those who have lost our voice and have lost our witness and testimony in this life—and not only have lost our witness and our voice, but have also lost our witness and voice in the company and presence of others. As we read these epistle which were written unto Timothy we must needs pay close and careful attention to each of the charges and commands given unto Timothy, for at the very heart and center of these charges and commands is the underlying command given unto Timothy not to lose his voice, and not to lose his witness and testimony, and not to lose his fight. DO NOT LOSE YOUR FIGHT! DO NOT LOSE YOUR VOICE! DO NOT LOSE YOUR TESTIMONY!

            Oh as you read the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy you must needs come to terms with the fact that throughout these two epistle the apostle Paul sought to bring this spiritual and beloved son to the place where he would not lose his fight, the place where he would not lose his voice, and the place where he would not lose his testimony. These two letters were written unto Timothy who had experienced and was undoubtedly experiencing persecution, suffering, affliction and tribulation as a direct result of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ, and the apostle Paul sought to charge and command him that he maintain the fight within him, that he lay hold of and retain his voice, and that he hold fast to his witness and testimony in this life. This is incredibly important when you consider that which we as ministers, we as stewards, we as disciples, and we as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ have indeed been called to within this life and within this generation, for we dare not, we cannot and must not lose our fight, we dare not and must not lose our voice, and we dare not and must not lose our witness and testimony. IF there has every been a time when our voice, our fight and our testimony has needed to be maintained in the midst of the earth it is now. I am absolutely and completely convinced that there has never been a time before within our lives when this has been truer than it is right now. There has never been a time within our lives when we have had such a great and tremendous need to lay hold of and hold tightly to our fight, to our voice and to our witness and testimony in this life. It is with all of this in mind that I leave you with each of the charges and commands the apostle Paul gave unto Timothy in each of these epistles—not only as charges and commands given unto Timothy, but also as charges and commands given unto us who have been called to live in this life as good soldiers of the Lord Jesus Christ in this generation and in these Last Days:

            “As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they mightest 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).

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck” (1 Timothy 1:18-19).

            “I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

            “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (1 Timothy 2:8).

            “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather than unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Timothy 4:6-8).

            “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach” (1 Timothy 4:9-11).

            “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1 Timothy 4:12-16).

            “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:21-23).

            “O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 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, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 6:13-14).

            “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace with thee. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:20-21).

            “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God” (2 Timothy 6-8).

            “Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost, which dwelleth in us” (2 Timothy 2:13-14).

            “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. NO man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive  lawfully” (2 Timothy 2:1-5).

            “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain bablings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:14-16).

            “Flee also thou youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will” (2 Timothy 2:22-26).

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:1-4). “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy minister” (2 Timothy 4:5).

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