"To Timothy, my dearly beloved son ..." (2 Tim. 1:2)
This opening address to Timothy reminded me very much of the words I use to address a birthday or personal greetings card. It is direct but personal and using the word 'To' evokes to my mind affection from either a close friend or family. Although Timothy was not connected biologically God, had brought them together in the new Family of God. Paul's usage of the term 'dearly beloved' strengthens the familiarity and love between them. How Timothy must have rejoiced in his heart over such a welcome! I know I do when I receive a card addressed to me from someone I love. Not only that, Paul used Timothy's name. This to me is very important and brings acknowledgement of identity. Identity is so important. God is very interested in identity. He made each of us original, and we are special. Very special indeed.
Our identity is shown to be important by God: "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works: and that my soul knowest right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth: (Psalm 139:14-15)
Yes our identity is wrought by God in secret and as David writes further: "Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them". (Ps. 139:16)
Now you see, God knows our hearts and our hurts because back in 2001, I was living in a flat with my daughter, a single mum. Times were hard and a vicar of a church gave me the autobiography of John Wesley. Now John Wesley, unbeknown to me, started the revival in Cornwall. I had moved down from a big city in the UK to escape, literally, for my life, some very troublesome family and ex-husband. When I came to Cornwall I was far away from the Lord. God drew me back though after some 10 years. There was much rejoicing in heaven. I know. I felt it!!
Here in Cornwall I came across, for the first time, a denomination called Methodism. Now, before I write any further, I am not into denominations. I have been to every type of church there is and I have found the same fundamental flaws in each of them. There is no perfect church, and lets face it, there will be no denominations in heaven.
Anyway I was given this autobiograhy of John Wesley and in the preface at the beginning my eyes caught two words: 'little jacky'. John Wesley, the famous preacher and revivalist, had the same name as me it was his nick name. I think seeds were sown then of what God had in store for me. God still sees me as Jacky with a Y, as that is my original spelling.
Focusing on identity and how God sees us. This is important because Gods Word is the only Truth and the only Truth we should listen too. His love is perfect. I opened up to Isaiah 62 I came across this scripture and it so touched my heart. (just these few verses I'd like to share): "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee."
When Paul wrote to Timothy he wrote with a humble heart from God. God was writing to Timothy in love and this is shown by using the word beloved. Only a heart dedicated to God who is Love could write like this.
Have you ever written a love letter and looked at the choice of words you use? As the book of 1 John says: "God is Love." This was Paul writing to his brother, son, family. (even though adopted into God's family).
We see Paul openly speek with confidence to Timothy in the first verse stating his authority as Gods spokesperson, thus giving Timothy assurance and a guarantee that he could be trusted and that he was genuine. Then, secondly, Paul was then able to speak to Timothy from his heart and say through those words 'To Timothy my beloved son". Thus any fear was relinquinshed. In Christ Jesus they were related and their common bond of unity was love.
Jesus says in John 15:12: "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you"
31st October 2007