"I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel". (NIV)
Timothy first appears in the second missionary journey when Paul revisited Lystra (Acts 16:1-3). Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish-Christian mother named Eunice, and the grandson of Lois (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim 1:5). Timothy, who willfully followed in the footsteps of his mentor Apostle Paul truly exemplified a life that was service oriented and sacrificial to self centered ambitions for the cause of Christ. Timothy truly dedicated his life to the faith and served God diligently even as a young man. He knew how to serve the present age of his time as a servant of God, not a self- serving egotist. This was his lifestyle, even before Paul called upon him to become a personal helper in the ministry. Timothy’s life was dedicated to the faith and to those he served because he had learned as a young man to embrace being a servant of God and to become Christ centered, not self-centered.
Timothy received Jesus Christ after he was given the’ plan for salvation by Paul in Acts 16: 1- 5. In 1 Corinthians 4:15- 17, Paul won Timothy to the faith on his first missionary journey and gave Timothy further training by taking him under his wings. Timothy was an ambassador and represented Paul and Christ by teaching of the gospel in Paul's absence since Paul himself could not physically come to them due to imprisonment. Once, Paul sent Timothy on a mission to the Corinthian church to remind the people they were to become "imitators" of Jesus Christ. Timothy told them to look at the way Paul handled his life as a Christian and glean asmuch wisdom from his example. Timothy may have been converted under Paul's ministry, because the apostle refers to him as his "beloved and faithful son in the Lord" (1 Cor 4:17) and as his "true son in the faith" (1 Tim 1:2). Timothy was held in high regard in Lystra and Iconium, and Paul desired to take him along as a traveling companion (Acts 16:3).
During Paul's third missionary journey, Timothy was active in the evangelizing of Corinth, although he had little success. When news of disturbances at Corinth reached Paul at Ephesus, he sent Timothy, perhaps along with Erastus (Acts 19:22), to resolve the difficulties. The mission failed, perhaps because of fear on Timothy's part (1 Cor 16:10-11). Paul then sent the more forceful Titus, who was able to calm the situation at Corinth (2 Cor 7). Later in the third journey, Timothy is listed as one of the group that accompanied Paul along the coast of Asia Minor on his way to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4-5).
Timothy's "strongest traits" were his sensitivity, affection, and loyalty. Paul commends him to the Philippians, for example, as one of proven character, showing faithful to Paul like a son to a father, and without rival in his concern for the Philippians (Phil 2:19-23; also 2 Tim 1:4; 3:10). Paul's warnings, however, to "be strong" (2 Tim 2:1) suggests that Timothy "weakness" was "fearfulness" (1 Cor 16:10-11; 2 Tim 1:7) and possibly "youthful lusts" (2 Tim 2:22). But in spite of his weaknesses, Paul was closer to Timothy than to any other associate.
By the time Paul goes to Derbe and finds Timothy in Lystra, Timothy had already known and had been raised by the Holy Scriptures from the days of his youth (2 Timothy 1:5) because of his mother Eunice and his grandmother Lois. Timothy submitted to Paul and to the call that was upon his life to the extent that he already had a reputation of sacrifice and service, gaining respect from among the people in Lystra. (Acts 16:1- 5) Paul, recognizing the quality in Timothy took the young man under his wings and Timothy became a co-laborer with Paul in the Faith and together, they strengthen the church and spurred growth among the fellowship.
What can we learn from Timothny's "life example?
I. Timothy illustrates to the believer the importance biblical training and how godly living plays in having the right focus and submission towards Jesus Christ. (Deuteromony 6:6-7, 2 Timothy 2:15)
Between Paul, his mother and his grandmother, they made sure Timothy knew about God and Jesus Christ, empowering Timothy to seek God through Christ, a godly attitude toward handling the personal affairs of his life and the importance of living a godly example among the people he would be reesponsible to lead. People ought to see enough good Christ-like example within us that they would gladly become “imitators” of Christ because of the example they see flowing through our lives. As we totally submit to Christ, we are empowered as believers to put God and the Gospel mission above all personal self interests. Submission allow you to submit yourself to sound doctrine learning from God-centereed teachers and Pastors expounding upon the Word and from the living testimonies of how God rewards faithfulness. It’s imperative that we remain consistent in our walk with Christ. A focussed and submissive mind together are "great character builders" for the believer that aid in living a consistent life that is bible based, Christ centered, Holy Spirit led, and focused on the missionary work of proclaiming the gospel throughout the world.
II. Timothy shows us an example of the result of having "positional favor". In 1 Corinthains 4:15- 17, Paul urged the church at Corinth to follow his living example and sent Timothy to remind some and teach others Paul’s ways as he sought to follow Jesus Christ and taught consistently to all the churches. When you have "positional favor with God and with "key important people" God placed stategically in your life, you will become "relied upon" to many an important taks in their behalf. Here are a few examples of whatr happen when Timothy recieved favor in Paul's ministry as written in the IBSE : (Internatioinal Biblical Studies of Scriptual Knowledge Encyclopedia)
A. At Corinth:
Paul had left Athens before Silas and Timothy were able to rejoin him. He had proceeded to Corinth, and it was while the apostle was in that city, that "when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ" (Acts 18:5). Timothy evidently remained with Paul during the year and six months of his residence in Corinth, and also throughout this missionary journey to its end. From Corinth Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans, and he sent them a salutation from Timothy, "Timothy my fellow-worker saluteth you" (Rom 16:21).
B. To Corinth Again:
From Ephesus Paul wrote the First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor 16:8), and in it he mentioned (verse 10) that Timothy was then traveling to Corinth, apparently a prolongation of the journey into Macedonia. After commending him to a kind reception from the Corinthians, Paul proceeded to say that Timothy was to return to him from Corinth; that is, Timothy was to bring with him a report on the state of matters in the Corinthian church.
C. In Greece:
Soon thereafter the riot in Ephesus occurred; and when it was over, Paul left Ephesus and went to Macedonia and Greece. In Macedonia he was rejoined by Timothy, whose name is associated with his own, in the opening salutation of the Second Epistle, which he now wrote to Corinth. Timothy accompanied him into Greece, where they abode three months. From Greece the apostle once more set his face toward Jerusalem, Timothy and others accompanying him (Acts 20:4). "We that were of Paul's company" (Acts 21:8 the King James Version), as Luke terms the friends who now traveled with Paul-and Timothy was one of them-touched at Troas and a number of other places, and eventually reached Jerusalem, where Paul was apprehended.
D. At Ephesus:
On Paul's 3rd missionary journey, Timothy again accompanied him, though he is not mentioned until Ephesus was reached. This journey involved much traveling, much work and much time. At Ephesus alone more than two years were spent. And when Paul's residence there was drawing to a close, he laid his plans to go to Jerusalem, after passing en route through Macedonia and Achaia. Accordingly he sent on before him "into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timothy and Erastus" (Acts 19:22).
E. Appointed to Ephesus:
Paul's hope was realized: he was set free; and once again Timothy was his companion in travel. Perhaps it was in Philippi that they rejoined each other, for not only had Paul expressed his intention of sending Timothy there, but he had also said that he hoped himself to visit the Philippian church (Phil 1:26; 2:24). From this point onward it is difficult, perhaps impossible, to trace the course of Paul's journeys, but he tells us that he had left Timothy as his delegate or representative in Ephesus (1 Tim 1:3); and soon thereafter he wrote the First Epistle to Timothy, in which he gave full instructions in regard to the manner in which he should conduct the affairs of the Ephesian church, until Paul himself should again revisit Ephesus: "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly" (1 Tim 3:14).
F. His Position in Ephesus:
"The position" which Timothy occupied in Ephesus, as it is described in 1 Timothy, cannot without doing the greatest violence to history be called that of a bishop, for the office of bishop existed only where the one bishop, superior to the presbytery, represented the highest expression of the common church life. The office was for life, and confined to the local church. This was particularly the case in Asia Minor, where, although as early as the time of Revelation and the time of Ignatius, bishoprics were numerous and closely adjacent, the office always retained its local character. On the other hand, Timothy's position at the head of the churches of Asia was due to the position which he occupied as Paul's helper in missionary work. It was his part in the apostolic calling, as this calling involved the oversight of existing churches. Timothy was acting as a temporary representative of Paul in his apostolic capacity at Ephesus, as he had done earlier in Corinth, and in Thessalonica and Philippi (1 Cor 4:17;1 Thess 3:2 f; Phil 2:19-23). His relation was not closer to one church than to the other churches of the province; its rise and disappearance did not affect at all the organization of the local congregations
G. In Rome:
The details of the manner in which Timothy was now employed are not recorded, until he is found once more with Paul-during his 1st imprisonment in Rome. But, from that point onward, there are many notices of how he was occupied in the apostle's service. He is mentioned in three of the Epistles written by Paul at this time, namely, in Colossians 1:1, and Philemon 1, in both of which his designation is "Timothy our brother," and in Philippians 1:1, "Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus." In Philippians 2:19, there is the interesting notice that, at a time when Paul's hope was that he would soon be liberated from his imprisonment, he trusted that he would be able to send Timothy to visit the church at Philippi:
H. Paul Summons Him to Rome:
From the Second Epistle still further detail can be gathered. Paul was a second time imprisoned, and feeling that on this occasion his trial would be followed by an adverse judgment and by death, he wrote from Rome to Timothy at Ephesus, affectionately requesting him to come to him: "Give diligence to come shortly unto me" (2 Tim 4:9). The fact that at that time, when no Christian friend was with Paul except Luke (2 Tim 4:11), it was to Timothy he turned for sympathy and aid, closing with the request that his own son in the faith should come to him, to be with him in his last hours, shows how true and tender was the affection which bound them together. Whether Timothy was able to reach Rome, so as to be with Paul before his execution, is unknown.
If you live a biblical exemplary life, one that's focussed and dedicated to the service of Jesus Christ, you one day expect some form of public notoriety and a request from others to render Christian service through ministryopportunities. Jesus said to remain humble and never forget that there's no such thing as "small" Christian service!