True Children in the Faith
“To Timothy, my true child in the faith …” (I Timothy 1:2)
If you were to write a letter to a younger Christian friend, what would you say? Maybe that would be a good exercise … at least to outline it. What would you want him / her to know? to do? to believe?
It is easy to forget that much of the New Testament is in the form of letters, letters to churches and individuals. They are often lengthy, they are always rich. Paul begins his first letter to his younger companion calling him a “true child in the faith” and then proceeding to urge, charge, instruct and encourage Timothy in the faith. The range of topics Paul covers is fairly wide, the Christ-centered focus is evident, the love for the Church is clearly revealed throughout.
As I reflect on my own life as a Christian, I am thankful that I grew up under the instruction and care of several men who could consider me a “true child of the faith.” They were not perfect men by any means. But they pointed me to Jesus … and the Church. I remember learning from them the importance of knowing the Scriptures, of wrestling through the difficulties of prayer, of listening to wiser voices who were further along than I, of speaking and living out the faith in the world and of cherishing the time Christians have together for worshipping our Lord. Like Paul, these men had many discipling relationships with others, pouring out their lives in the service of Christ for the blessing of those whom the Lord had placed in their path. I am deeply indebted to the Lord for each of them.
As I think about this, it seems important to say that we all have the opportunity to relate to the apostles as “true children of the faith.” Paul’s letters to Timothy, Titus and others, by the Lord’s design, were never just for their original recipients. They were, and are, for us. It is my hope that you all will choose to participate in our next segment of Sunday evening worship services at 6:00 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Aberdeen, beginning May 1. We will be reading through and reflecting on Paul’s letters to Timothy together, engaging with Paul’s instruction for the Church and for her leaders and how the words in these letters ought to influence our daily walk with the Lord. Please join us! As always, there will be Sunday School provided at the same time for all children up through 5th grade. As for the rest of us, we will sing, pray and think on the Word of God … I am thankful for the opportunity to do this with you.