This blog post, A Heart Like The Father, captured a piece of what I desire in my relationship with my children and what I desire in those I might have opportunity to disciple… and what I as a younger believer am looking for in the men I trust to disciple me.
“Every young man needs another man to pour passion into his life.”
We know from Acts 16:3, that Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him on this missionary journey. I would be curious to know what Timothy’s thoughts were. They probably weren’t as established or focused. I don’t think Timothy was necessarily chomping at the bit for some older guy to ‘disciple’ him. In a sense he was already being discipled in some context because he was recognized as a disciple and he was well spoken of in the fellowship at Lystra and Iconium. It seems at this point that Paul comes along and takes note of Timothy and determines to take Timothy with him. We know Timothy, at least in certain respects, has a timid side or nature. What was Paul thinking? Didn’t he see this? Did it matter at all to him? It seems the only thing we can take from this situation is that Timothy was a disciple and was well spoken of.
Timothy went. Whatever the dynamic was… no matter how shy or reluctant Timothy may have been in the flesh, he followed Paul on the journey. Did Timothy know of Paul? Did he know Paul’s reputation? What did he observe in Paul that he was willing to leave home, church, family and follow Paul?
We have the New Testament to look to and see who Paul was… we can look at Paul from the vantage point of history and it is crystal clear that Paul was a believer…a disciple… a passionate follower/imitator of Jesus Christ.
Does my passion for Jesus Christ encourage… stir up faith, hope, obedience, love… for Jesus Christ in others? in my children? in those I am discipling?
I can tell you with certainty that the older brothers in the Lord that I have drawn close to and watched and listened to and imitated are the ones who have impressed me as having a single-minded, reverent, steadfast passion for following hard after the Treasure of their heart.
“He needs another man who is open and honest and is bravely walking with Christ in spite of his own weaknesses.”
I also have realized that these men who I have followed have weaknesses. Their passion for Jesus Christ may have captured my attention at the beginning, but the flaws and weaknesses don’t need to be hidden…shouldn’t (must not) be hidden. It has been the steadfast obedience and faithful repentance and confession that has accompanied these men that confirms my hope in the Gospel.
From the example of Paul and Timothy, I am grateful to see that Paul pursued Timothy.. and I am impressed that Timothy went and remained with Paul… apparently it was more than just obedience to go, but a desire to remain with Paul. Timothy was seeing something worth following and the fruit of that relationship is evident as we read about Timothy as pastor over the First Baptist Church at Ephasus… or maybe it was the First Reformed Church at Ephasus. 😉
blessings in Christ,