In recent visits we began to do a “Focus and Amplify” study of 2nd Timothy. I suggested for the focus the title: “Passing the Baton in the Relay Race of Life.” And then used the key verse, 2nd Timothy 4:7 as the basis for amplifying the focus.
The first chapter’s material amplifies the first point in the outline: Keeping the faith. I noticed as I read chapter 1 the repetition of a couple of words: remember and ashamed. As I reflected further I used them as a basis for the following outline to amplify, keeping the faith.
1. The power of remembering.
2. The debilitating drain of being ashamed.
3. The discipline to stay the course.
Let’s look at these more closely. Paul mentions the importance of remembering four times. In verse 3 he writes: “night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.” In verse 4 he writes: “Recalling your tears.” In verse 5 he writes: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith.”
Paul and Timothy had built a close friendship over the years of traveling and serving together. During those years they were separated from time to time to carry out special assignments. Absence from each other strengthened their relationship.
Paul prayed faithfully for Timothy. When he thought of what to pray for he would recall a particular event, and that would stir up feelings of joy. Reveling in the memories he was reminded of something else, like his “sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice.” These memories strengthened their friendship and stirred Paul to encourage Timothy.