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13

Lesson

Final Letter to a Friend

2 Timothy 1; 2; The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 203, 498–508

 

The Message

I worship God when I thank Him for Christian role models.

Memory Verse

“Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:8).

Do you like to hear news from a friend who is far away? Paul missed his friend Timothy, so he wrote a letter asking him to come visit him.



 

Paul looked around his bare prison cell. It was rough, dimly lit, and not very comfortable. But he smiled as he remembered his dear friend Timothy. They had been through a lot. Their trials and the joy of working together for Jesus had made them good friends. But more than that, they were like father and son.

Paul remembered when they had first met. Paul had gone to Lystra. Some people there did not want him to preach about Jesus. So they dragged him outside the city gate and threw stones at him. That was when he met Timothy.

When Paul went to Lystra again, Timothy was ready to help him. Even though he was still a teenager, he knew the Scriptures.

Timothy’s father was Greek. Eunice, his mother, and Lois, his grandmother, were Jewish Christians. They had taught Timothy from the Scriptures since he was a little boy. They had encouraged him to keep his mind and heart pure. It was their guidance that helped Timothy choose to serve God.

Timothy became Paul’s assistant. They traveled many miles together, facing many hardships. And their love for Jesus grew and grew. But now Paul was in prison, and Timothy was working in Ephesus.

I think I’ll write Timothy a letter, Paul thought. I would love to have him visit me. I know it will take quite a while for him to get here, even if he comes right away. Why, it will probably be several months before I can see him! And who knows—I could lose my life any day. But I’ll write and ask him to come anyway. And I’ll leave some instructions for him in case I should die before he comes. He began to write:

Dear Timothy,

You have been like a son to me. I wish you grace and peace and mercy from our Lord Jesus Christ. Every day I pray and thank God for you. I am so happy for your faith. And for all you learned from your mother and grandmother. Use that gift of faith. Let it grow into a big fire.

Don’t be afraid of anything or anyone. If someone is doing something wrong, tell him. Use the power that God gave you. God gives us strength to tell everyone the good news. Never be ashamed to tell people about Jesus. Preach the gospel every time you have a chance.

Use the Bible as your weapon. Do not listen to what people say; read for yourself what is true. Do not listen to false teachers. Protect other believers from their lies. Teach them everything I have taught you. The Holy Spirit will help you.

Even though I am in prison, keep believing in God. Please come and see me as soon as you can. When you come, please bring my coat and my books. Be careful of the people who have hurt me. They will try to hurt you, too. Say hello to our friends.

May the Lord’s grace be with you, Paul

Paul’s letter to Timothy guided and encouraged him. And it guides and encourages us today.