2Ti 1:1-2  “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”

As with his other letters, Paul begins Second Timothy with an introduction of himself. He could have introduced himself in several ways. He was a Pharisee, a Jew, and a Roman citizen. His teacher was Gamaliel, a highly respected Rabbi and a member of the Sanhedrin council. He was highly educated and very ambitious.

He could also have introduced himself as the man who gave consent to the stoning of Stephen. He was a man who zealously opposed those who followed Jesus. Paul sought, and was granted, authority to bind any who followed the teachings of Jesus. He brought them in chains back to Jerusalem, some to even be killed.

Rather than talk about who he used to be or what he had done in the past, Paul focused on his current condition. Regardless of what he once was or sought to be, Paul was now an apostle of Jesus Christ, commissioned to preach the gospel to those he would once have put in chains. There is great hope for us in this truth in Paul’s life. God is not a respecter of persons, and what he did for Paul God also does for us.

Like Paul, we should recognize that this was not about us cleaning up our own act. Paul had no intention of being an apostle, just like many of us may have had no thought of serving God. Even when we had an experience of grace like Paul did on the road to Damascus, we could not immediately see our way forward. We were blind in the grief of seeing the wreck we had made of our lives.

We serve Him by His own holy will. Paul was an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God. We are servants today of Jesus Christ by the will of God. His will works in harmony with the promise of life.

We know experience our life in Jesus Christ. While we were chosen in Him from before the foundation of the world, this has become a living truth to us by the will of God. It is the understanding of where our life is that has changed us. We are delivered from our self-serving interests.

That wonderful deliverance makes it possible for us to focus our attention on others. Paul lived the balance of his life ministering to all that God sent him to. Sometimes he was free and at other times he was in prison. Regardless of his personal circumstance, his attention was always on the Lord and His people.

Scholars tell us that this letter was written while Paul was in prison in Rome. It was written near the end of his life. However, his focus was not on his own plight. He wrote with love to another servant about the precious testimony of Jesus Christ. He wrote to one who he loved as a son.

Notice that Paul’s letter did not bear instructions to Timothy on how to get ahead in this world. It did not really enquire as to Timothy’s welfare. This certainly was not because Paul did not care about Timothy. Rather, it reflects the confidence that the same God by whose will he was an apostle was also the God that had called Timothy to the office of a bishop.

What was Paul’s great desire for his beloved son Timothy? That Timothy would be the recipient of grace, and mercy, and peace. His hope was for Timothy to continue to trust in God and receive from God all that he needed to continue in God’s service. Paul’s love and concern for Timothy was neve any clearer than in the salutation of this letter that Timothy remain in the grace, love, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

May we, too, desire for each other grace, love, and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!

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