This Bible study is a companion to the May Encourager’s Devotion: In Search of Spiritual Mothers and Fathers. For additional studies in the Encourager’s Devotional Series, click here.
For information on Timothy and the relationship between Timothy and Paul, see the following passages. Make notes on Timothy’s background, Paul’s expectations of Timothy, things Paul did for Timothy, and signs that Timothy was growing in the faith as a result of Paul’s influence. You might also think about how Paul’s investment in Timothy’s life brought rewards to Paul’s life as well.
2 Timothy 1:2-14
- Paul prayed for Timothy daily.
- Timothy’s mother and grandmother were believers.
- Paul reminded Timothy to use his gifts and remember his calling.
- Paul reminded Timothy that living a holy life is important.
- Paul reminded Timothy of sound teaching and encouraged him to live by it.
- Timothy’s father was not a believer.
- Paul took Timothy with him on his missionary journey. This gave Timothy opportunity to develop his ministry skills, and also brought much joy to Paul as he watched his son in the faith grow into maturity.
- Paul praised Timothy and gave him his endorsement as he went out to the churches.
- Paul sent Timothy out to minister to others and served as his “job coach.”
In the book Groups: The Life-giving Power of Community, authors Ortburg, Pederson, and Poling list some of the “forms that encouragement takes.” Read the texts related to their list and make any notes that come to mind as you read. Also, as you read, if anyone comes to mind as needing any particular form of encouragement, write their names down in the space provided in the “Application” section.
*To believe in someone, to see their giftedness and ability to contribute:
1 Timothy 4:12-15
- Paul calmed any fears Timothy may have had about being so young while in ministry.
- Paul set high standards for Timothy, with confidence that Timothy could meet them.
- Paul again reminded Timothy to be diligent, to watch his lifestyle, to be devoted to God’s word, and to persevere.
2 Timothy 1:6-7
- Paul encouraged Timothy to not be timid and to utilize the gifts God had given him.
*To exhort someone, to build their character by confronting them even when it may involve saying hard things:
2 Timothy 4:2
- Paul told Timothy to encourage God’s people, but also to correct or rebuke them when needed.
- Paul instructed Timothy to do this with great patience and careful instruction.