Things weren’t going well for Timothy in Ephesus. Sure, Paul was a tough act to follow. But the internal pressures of pastoral ministry coupled with the external pressures of an oppressive pagan culture were a crippling burden.
Aware of this reality, Paul penned what we now call 1 Timothy, a letter that serves as both a balm for the weary pastor’s soul and a rallying cry for a church that’s lost its way. In this letter, Paul gives Timothy and the church 12 powerful truths about them and their mission.
1. Mission is our posture.
“I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15
2. Gospel is our cry.
“This saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’ ” 1 Timothy 1:15
3. Prayer is our weapon.
“First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone.” 1 Timothy 2:1
4. Glory is our goal.
“I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument.” 1 Timothy 2:8
5. Integrity is our value.
“(An overseer) must have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the Devil’s trap.” 1 Timothy 3:7
6. Discipleship is our strategy.
“Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness. “1 Timothy 4:7
7. Love is our rule.
“If anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8
8. Grace is our guide.
“I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism.” 1 Timothy 5:21
9. Meekness is our manner.
“Let all who are under a yoke as slaves regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers’ rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.” 1 Timothy 6:1-2
10. Contentment is our attitude.
“But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.” 1 Timothy 6:6-8
11. Generosity is our distinctive.
“Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good reserve for the age to come, so that they may take hold of life that is real.” 1 Timothy 6:17-19
12. Victory is our end.
“Take hold of eternal life that you were called to and have made a good confession about in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:12