One of the many ways we learn something is by watching people. Their lives are examples to us especially in our relationship with Jesus. We can watch good examples and follow their lead. We can watch bad examples and avoid their mistakes.  We all learn by experience, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be ours.

In the Bible, Paul the apostle’s young disciple Timothy is a great example of serving God for us. He was devoted, dedicated, and disciplined in his commitment to Jesus, and to Paul. He was someone you could rely upon, someone used in a wonderful way by the Lord.

It’s in Philippians 2 that we find three important elements of his ministry life that are worth emulating in ours.

1. Timothy was PREPARED TO GO.

If the Lord Jesus is willing, I hope to send Timothy to you soon. Then when he comes back, he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. Phil 2:19 (NLT)

Paul heard from the church fellowship in the city of Philippi that many things were not as they should be. There were hints of division, persecution, financial difficulties, and a whole host of other issues. Paul couldn’t go there to help them himself, but knew they need personal support as soon as possible.  As Paul looks around to send someone, Timothy was ready to go! He was reliable, but most importantly he was available. God does not ask about our ability or our inability, but about our availability.

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2. Timothy was POSITIONED TO CARE.

I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare.  All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ. Phil 2:20-21 (NLT)

Paul and Timothy shared a unique relationship in ministry. Paul discipled Timothy and taught him how to serve the Lord. They were like-minded. They both shared the same genuine care for the congregation! Timothy was careful to always be in a position to be a help to Paul, to serve Paul, and to support Paul in his work for the Kingdom. Timothy is never mentioned as being selfish or self-centered.  The great American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein was once asked which instrument was the most difficult to play. He thought for a moment and then replied, “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that’s a problem. And if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.” What we need are more 2nd fiddle believers who’s aim in life is to serve completely, keep the harmony, and surrender wholeheartedly to Jesus. — We need more men like Timothy.

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But you know how Timothy has proved himself. Like a son with his father, he has helped me in preaching the Good News.  I hope to send him to you just as soon as I find out what is going to happen to me here.  And I have confidence from the Lord that I myself will come to see you soon. Phil 2:22-24 (NLT)

Timothy was a strong brother and effective servant because he was tested and proven. He was entrusted with more because he was faithful with what was given to him to oversee. He already has helped serve alongside Paul with the churches in Thessalonica, Corinth, and now Philippi. According to 1 Timothy 3:10, the deacons of the church should “first be tested”.   William Barclay wrote, “Timothy’s great value was that he was always willing to go anywhere; and in his hands a message was as safe as if Paul had delivered it himself. Others might be consumed with selfish ambition; but Timothy’s one desire was to serve Paul and Jesus Christ. He is the patron saint of all those who are quite content with the second place, so long as they can serve.”

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As you continue to surrender your life serving Jesus, be careful to be prepared to go. Make sure to put yourself in the right position to care and prove yourself faithful through all the tests of life.

The best of your ministry years are still yet to come friend until the soon return of Jesus Christ! Maranatha!

Class 5 – Timothy: An Example to Follow from Calvary Aurora on Vimeo.