January 21: Providential Relationships

Read 2 Timothy 1:1-2:2

Today, we begin a week-long focus on another catalyst that contributes to the development of our faith – providential relationships. Let’s begin by examining those relationships through the lens of Timothy’s experience.

Timothy experienced it on a number of levels. He was born into a mixed family, where his father was a Gentile and his mother a Jew (Acts 16:1). By the grace of God, however, his mother and grandmother possessed a sincere faith and passed it along to him (2 Tim. 1:5). Even as a child, Timothy’s mother and grandmother saw to it that he was exposed to biblical truth regarding salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 3:15). The investment of believing relatives was, indeed, a divine gift! If you have family members who have contributed to your spiritual development, you can thank God! In fact, if they are still alive, why not thank them with a note or phone call?

Even beyond his childhood home, Timothy experienced the blessing of a church family in and around Lystra and Iconium. Undoubtedly, these people contributed to his development and came to think highly of him (Acts 16:2). They were likely among those who had laid hands on him and commissioned him to ministry (1 Tim. 4:14). If you have a church family that invests in and cares for you, you are a blessed person. If you don’t, is it because you are not putting yourself into the right venue of a group experience where you can know others and be known personally?

Timothy’s relationship with Paul was another providential one. Paul saw the potential in Timothy and invited this younger man to travel and do ministry with him (Acts 16:3). The apostle mentored him face to face, gave him opportunities to serve, and even wrote personal letters to him. Do you have a “Paul” in your life? Is there someone who is a half step ahead of you spiritually, with whom you spend time?

Finally, did you notice that Paul exhorted Timothy to not only be on the receiving end of godly input? That’s right, Timothy was to take the things he learned in relationship with Paul and share them with others (2 Tim. 2:2). Into whom are you pouring your life and the biblical principles you have learned?

Providential relationships are experienced at many levels and in many ways. Make sure you position yourself strategically to receive and give in those relationships.

sbk

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