Verse of the Day Devotion: 2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
The apostle Paul is writing to Timothy, a young man called to work within the Church in Ephesus. “To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.” 1 Timothy 1:2-4. Paul left him there to instruct certain men not to teach heresy.
In the writing of the second letter, Paul is encouraging Timothy to remain strong and resolute in his faith. “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” He grew up in a family of faith, both with his mother Eunice and Grandmother Lois. Paul knew Timothy had sincere faith, however, as a young man it appears there were things that held him back. He had some reluctance , no doubt due to the message he was giving to the men regarding false teachings and the feedback he must have received. Paul though tells him, “For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Timothy 1:6. He must have felt some reluctance in declaring this message, however, Paul tells him to stir up once again the gift of God. And this gift from God was the Spirit of God.
Now, Paul goes on to declare that this gift was not a spirit of timidity or fear. There was no reason to experience this because the Holy Spirit would grant him the power to encounter foes and dangers, as well as to combat those who no doubt came against him as he was fulfilling the calling Paul gave him to declare to those in Ephesus regarding not teaching false doctrine. He was not to back down, but through the power of God working in him, he was to declare boldly the truth to all, even those who did not want to hear what he was saying. And also, the Spirit would aid him in doing all this in love. John explains this in 1 John, where he states, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18. There is no fear in love, actually, true love casts out fear. If Timothy truly loves God, which he does, this love will cast out fear because He will protect him and be there in whatever he is called to do. And the Spirit will guide him such that he will be shown how to do all with discretion and wisdom.
Now, this promise was not just for Timothy, but it is for us as well. We must be bold and declare the truth, correcting where necessary, doing the work of the Lord through the power of God’s Spirit, not being timid but with love, declaring the truth. Paul suffered much during his ministry, but in boldness, preached Christ wherever he went. We may feel reluctance as Timothy did, but we also must apply the same words that Paul spoke to Timothy. We must kindle afresh the gift of God in our lives and allow Him to do His work in us. For as Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.