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Federation Rocks – Victoria – Bendigo Metasandstone and Ballarat quartz
There is much in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul to Timothy that is relevant to all who are involved in Christian ministry today.
Reflections for the first nine weeks of 2019 have been prepared to assist those who are entering or already engaged in a process of discerning what is the will of God for their future ministry. The nature of that future ministry is not limited to what Paul described in these Epistles.
My intention is to provide a resource for all who love Jesus and seek to serve him. It is not restricted to those who hope to enter into holy orders.
Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy 1: 3-12 (NIV)
3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.
What is it to hear (or sense) and then to respond to the “call” of God?
There is a close relationship between salvation and vocation. Christians have been saved not only from a life of sin but also to a life of holiness (verse 9). God has called his people to a holy life because he himself is holy. His own purpose and his grace, given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, are the key elements here. We bring into his presence nothing of worth except our willingness to surrender everything to him.
When Paul was called, he “was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher” (verse 11).
There are allusions in this passage to God’s call upon the life of Timothy (verses 5 and 6). When you or I receive and respond to the call of God, we may take courage from Paul’s encouragement to Timothy: “the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (verse 7). There is no reason, therefore, for shame in responding to his call (verses 8, 12b). God is able to guard what each of us has entrusted to him, our very selves, until the last day.