1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I am grateful to God–whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did–when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. 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, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. 6 For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; 7 for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. 8 Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
11 For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, 12 and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. 13 Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. [NRSA]
Paul is in Rome and is a prisoner. He has his appearance in court that does not go well..
The Jews knew the religious charges would not stand in Roman law
So the case is twisted the charges to be conspiracy against the Roman government, loyalty to Jesus instead of Caesar.
Christians would not say Caesar is Lord.
The conflict of State and Church. Shouted when the church has influence over the people. It only goes in one direction, medaling with the church to bring the church under state regulations. It should go both ways
Insurrection against Rome is the charge <Nero beheaded John the Baptist.>
Friends of Paul also stand in jeopardy by association.
Many defected, Paul left alone against the charges, the first hearing went poorly. The sentence of death was upon him. He will soon be giving his life for his witness for Christ.
Timothly, young son, at Ephesus, left to correct problems in the church.
- False Prophets, those who have risen up, who are not true representative of Christ.
- Tactics used, fraud, and deceit, soliciting funds, if you will give to God, God will pay your bills, gives to the world fodder against the church.
- God doesn’t need our money, God is not broke, Joel Osteen, False Prophets
Godliness is a way to get rich… tv icon slimy
Timothy there to correct.
Letter to Timothy, last letter of Paul.
The Promise of Light
Sentence of death… facing death
I put you in remembrance, to stir up the Gift of God’s
GREEK words, stirring up the coals and stoke the coals, fresh wood, bring it into flame again
Light the Fire
Fresh fuel, use these gifts given by God, laying on hands, by the elders and prophecy.
In the early church, they did practice the laying on of hands.
The idea was God has called me to as his servant to represent him, God has called you to represent him
God using us to accomplish God’s work, thus he instructed them to lay hands on the sick.
We lay our hands on the sick, <new age, energy is not the intentions> the purpose is to be God’s instruments, as God’s servant, God chooses to work through us, AS God laying God’s hands on you.
True faith is active
Passive faith > I believe God can do xyz,
Active Faith believes God WILL do it,
Real active faith, God will do this NOW.
Woman who’s daughter had died, crowd trying to get close to Jesus, who touched me?
Bleeding for years, I know if I could touch your garment trim, you would make me whole.
Great is your faith.
Hemorrhaging stopped. All I need is the trim/hem
Point of contact, faith was released and she was healed.
USE THE GIFTS God has given. Be not afraid…
If persecution or rejection comes God will deal with it then.
Put your trust in the Lord and be saved.
God has saved us and sent us with a holy God, not according to our works but God’s work in/through us.
We are God’s workmanship.
Saved for God’s purpose
Called us with a holy Calling, to be a holy people, to live a righteous life, according to God’s purpose and grace given through Jesus before the world began.
WE ARE CREATED FOR FELLOWSHIP with God, that God might have a meaningful loving relationship with creation, more than automatons, but with free moral agents, giving us free choice, to choose God.
Tree in the garden was attractive, looked better than any other.
Do you love me enough to obey by commands and know the tree is destructive.
And so is all sin
God knew we would break and bring death upon humanity.
God had a deeper plan, knowing our failure, also knows we need grace.
Jesus taking the penalty and power of sin on our behalf.
Greater love has no love,….
Recalling your tears
In God we are not cowards, we have a spirit of power (love and self-discipline)
Saved and Called to a Holy Calling
Recalling your tears – Tears are a response of cleansing and release.
Tears of Greif
Tears of Fear
Tears of Shame
Tears of Joy
Reasons to be Hesitant in sharing our faith
Reasons to be Encouraged in sharing our faith
Saved and Called
Holy Calling to Guard the Good Treasure
Paul knew his death was certain
In a Roman Prison, a final letter to Timothy
To exhort Timothy’s ministry
Be Faithful in all circumstances
Letters from Prison
Ministry by calling… make sure God has called you, here I am, called by God, its going to be hard
You will feel like quitting
As a Preacher, Pastor, and Teacher, this is a tender introduction of faith between Paul and Timothy. It is easy for us to say, this passage may not speak to me if I’m not a clergy person. But its important that that congregation know about the calling and ministry of its pastors.
The role of the pastor in the UMC has changed a great deal during the past thirty-four years of my ministry. Appointments have changed from 2-3 tenures, to 4-5, to longer tenures because the church has been in more transition than the clergy.
At the time of answering my call to ministry to becoming fully ordained, the process could be completed in three years, and now the process might take four or five years to complete.
The number of job proficiencies have increased from preaching, visiting members and administering the church and the sacraments to over twenty skill-sets and procedures of due-diligence. United Methodist Clergy are to complete a Master of Divinity or Theological Studies in a Seminary a three year program or a course of study over ten years.
I continued my studies in with a Doctor of Ministry at Gammon Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center at the Atlanta University Center where I studied addressing and healing racism through the practice of worship. When I first attended the organizational class of students beginning a 2-3 year journey of continued study, there were 43 pastors in my class. I was the only white student at a historically black seminary. Our first assignment was to tell our faith-journey stories and describe why we were taking on this new study program.
Of the 43, two had quit the ministry and surrendered their credentials but could not get their tuition refunded. Two others were in the process of leaving the role of pastor in charge within in the year. And all of the remaining thirty-nine students were experiencing burnout, a loss of focus, and were considering leaving the ministry.
A central part of that journey was reclaiming the call to ministry.
About ten years ago, the Annual Conference provided a support counselor/therapist to help clergy with dealing with the very things that Paul warns Timothy about a life of ministry. After the first therapist quit, a second one was hired, within a year, that counselor who took his own life, and left a note blaming the clergy for his actions. The program is no longer offered by the conference.
There was a recent study by the Barna Institute in 2021 that found that 42% of pastor, post pandemic, are considering leaving the ministry. This is a 13% increase from the year before. The primary factors being stress, loneliness, the effect of ministry on the family, and political division.
Pray for those ordained with a specific responsibilities in the church
We are all called to the holy calling of sharing Jesus Christ
We live in a time that it may not be easy nor popular to do so, but we need to fan the fire
May we come the table of the Lord and find strength in the new life of Christ, who holds us fast, and guards us for God’s work in God’s time.