The soaring eagle too hit an air pocket
2 Timothy 1:2 -
To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yesterday we learnt about the soaring spiritual life of Paul. He had abundant grace and favour of the Lord on him and he spiritually flew like an eagle. There were few in his time that spiritually grew at the speed and heights as he did. I did not say 'none' but said 'few' for there were some like Stephen, Philip and Timothy who did excellently. But for this soaring eagle Paul all along was not an easy flight he too did hit an air-pocket that did shake his life. There were times or an area in his life where the favour of God was not there but grace was and God said to him that His grace was sufficient.
People have a very bad habit to compare especially people, one to another and even then the early Christians did the same. They compared one Apostle to another or one Man of God with another. In his letters we see Paul talks 3 times about his comparison with others. In the start Paul was compared with Apollos and with Peter, in in the second time Peter was out of this race and it was between Paul and Apollos. He took this up in his first letter to the people of Corinth. It may seem in the same letter just in different chapters but understand these letters were not written overnight but manually written over long periods (like I pointed in Acts just 5 chapters 9 to 13 took 8 years).
Apollos was previously a disciple of John the Baptist who later became a stanch Christian and due to his good, eloquent orating ability he grew in popularity. Being compared to Peter or Apollo did not affect Paul seriously but later when he was compared to Timothy his own disciple it did affect Paul.
The people of Corinth did not just compare Paul to Timothy but went to the extent of pointing the weakness of Paul openly compared to Timothy and all this we see in Paul's second letter to people of Corinth. Understand Paul was very knowledgeable but he had one short fall, he was not good orator. People of Corinth stated Paul's letters were strong but when he came and spoke it did not compare to his letters. Paul had difficulty to hold the attention of ordinary Believers for long periods. This is also recorded by Luke in Acts where a long session of Paul causes a person sitting on the ledge of the window to dose off and fall to his death. Paul later brings him back to life.
The humble Paul did not happen in a day but the Lord had to work on him over a period of time. God's favour was on him for all the other areas and he overcame with great ease like a hot knife cuts a block of butter. But in this area it was not a block of butter but a block of wood where he had to use a saw, fight against his own flesh and called it a thorn in his flesh.
If we see Paul's second letter to Timothy carefully as the letter proceeds their relationship changes. In the start Paul takes credit indirectly for commissioning Timothy. He reminds Timothy of how small in age he is; that Paul knew not only his mother but also his grandmother (thus Timothy must have been a teenager). He also reminds him it was because of his laying hands on him that he received his spiritual gifts. As we go further the Lord speaks also to Paul through his own words and later towards the end we see Timothy is not referred as son or disciple but spoken to as colleague. Paul recognises Timothy's spiritual Calling and his growth and in his later letters also that he had come near to a level that of Paul and Silvanus.
Paul was an Apostle and Timothy was an Evangelist who grew greatly in their respective Callings. The gifting comes from the Lord according to the Calling. An Evangelist by default is a good orator but an Apostle or Teacher or Prophet may not necessary be. Moses who was a great Prophet used to stammer. That does not mean an Apostle or Prophet or Teacher will not preach like an Evangelist. When time comes a stammering person like Moses can speak fluently and with power. Moses a Levite did not believe God would do that therefore his sons lost the blessings of being chief priests and his brother Aaron's sons did receive it. Not only did Moses loose this, there was a time the anger of God was so great on Moses for this reason that it is written Moses was on verge of dying at the hands of God.
We can do all things in Christ but according to our Calling we are blessed in some areas greater than others. We should also remember we need people of every Calling in the Kingdom of God for they are various parts of the Body. If all college students do science and no one does commerce or arts then this business world will not function. The Kingdom of God also is a business of which we are His associates. As we grow in success in this business, not only the Kingdom of God benefits but we too benefit and our riches / rewards are accumulated in Heavenly places.
So like Paul learnt over time let us learn from his experience (testimony) and not make the mistake to experience it through our own ups and downs. Like a plane tries to avoid air pockets on knowing of it in advance let us too avoid this air pocket which Paul hit so that we too soar like the eagle Paul without experiencing the difficulties he did.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, in your plan of salvation of man You make sure it was executed through man coming together as one body. Even though You came as man and paid the price for our sins and took away our curses yet You did not take away the sin nature but gave us your Spirit to help us overcome this sin nature. You also made sure we need each other in this battle to overcome. You did not give all Callings to one person but each one a Calling so that we need to work closely with each other to fulfil this mission You gave us and finish this race we run. Lord let this understanding be written in our hearts like You wrote the Commandments on the stone tablets...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
2 Timothy 1:2-6,11-13
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the sincere faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that is in thee also.
6 For which cause I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the laying on of my hands.
11 To which I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him until that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 4:5 - But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Philemon 1:1 - Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer,
Hebrews 13:23 - Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
2 Corinthians 12:5-13
5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.
6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.
12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.
Acts 20:9 - And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead.
1 Corinthians 1:12 - Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:4 - For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
1 Corinthians 4:17 - For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.
2 Corinthians 10:10 - For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
2 Corinthians 11:21 - I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.
1 Thessalonians 3:2 - And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
2 Thessalonians 1:1 - Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
10 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
12 Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
13 And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send.
14 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.
16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
Exodus 4:24 - And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.
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