Day 1

Timothy’s Ministry

from the 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus reading plan

1 Timothy 1:1-11, Psalm 119:1-7, Acts 16:1-5

BY Jessica Lamb

Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 1:1-11, Psalm 119:1-7, Acts 16:1-5

My maiden name was regularly mistaken for a similarly spelled, but distinctly different, last name. People confused the two enough that my father, brother, and I often answered to the wrong name without much thought. My mother, though, never let the wrong name slide. She’d politely smile and correct every person, sometimes more than once, who added an unnecessary “r” to the pronunciation of our last name. Though it was only part of her name by marriage, she fiercely defended its integrity.

What remains fascinating to me about this common mistake is how often people disagreed with her correction, telling her the way they misunderstood our name was, in fact, more accurate. It was as if their opinion of what our last name ought to be was more important than what our name truly is. Persistent as they were, they could not change the truth.

The fight for preserving what is true is at the heart of today’s reading, and of 1 Timothy as a whole. Paul wrote to Timothy, his coworker and protégé, to encourage him to guard the heritage of the Christian faith—a faith that was being challenged by false teaching and a skewed understanding of what it meant to be a follower of Jesus.

In Acts 16, we catch a glimpse of how Paul’s mentorship of Timothy began. Timothy left his family to travel with Paul on his second missionary journey, sharing the gospel and establishing the early Church. He became one of Paul’s most trusted disciples and coworkers, ministering alongside Paul as he wrote much of the New Testament. Paul wrote this first letter to Timothy while the young protégé was serving as pastor to the church in Ephesus.

We see the depth of their relationship in how Paul addresses Timothy. More than just a coworker, Timothy is Paul’s “true son in the faith” (1:2).  That affectionate reference is, in part, a reminder to Timothy that he, and all believers, are part of a spiritual heritage. When we come to faith in Jesus, we become part of the family of God (1 John 3:1-2). In this family, part of our ministry is to guard the lineage of our faith by remembering what it means to be a believer and then passing those truths down to future generations.

The believers Timothy pastored were distracted by empty speculations and false doctrine. We have to guard against the same—whether in our own hearts, in our own conversations, or in how we teach others about our faith through our words and actions.

God Himself is the best authority on our faith. His Word isn’t a list of meaningless rules; it is light in the darkness, a lamp that shows us where to place our feet as we live lives faithful and true to the heritage of the gospel. When we keep our focus on growing in affection for God and His Word, we stay true to our pursuit of love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.


Jessica Scoggins (not Scroggins) Lamb consumes books, tea, and street-style tacos with equal ferocity. When she’s not working as the managing editor for She Reads Truth, she can be found singing Broadway tunes off-key or traveling. She lives with her husband, daughter, beloved mutt, and tolerated chickens in Nashville, TN.

Post Comments (138)

138 thoughts on "Timothy’s Ministry"

  1. cailey says:

    Lord I pray as I walk through this devotional. as I prepare to go into full time vocational ministry myself that I am reminded of the simplicity and the raw truth of the gospel. that I am refreshed by the undeniable sincerity of Love. Purify me, teach me, show me. Take away my sinful inclination to take false doctrine as truth. Lord may I not be distracted, but filled with the life that comes from a pure heart a good conscience and a sincere faith as I step in to the lives of high schoolers in my town and love them like you loved me. not to make myself known or to make something of my name, but to make yours alive. to set the stage for you to take over. For hearts to be changed. for lives to be lived. and to welcome them into the family that is good, pure, and sincere. Amen

  2. Abbey Sullivan says:

    5The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

    Love issues from a pure heart! This calls is to action before we teach, lead, and evangelize. We cannot lead unless I am making my heart pure through God’s truth.

  3. Adrianne Pepitone says:

    I do think the idea of traditional Christianity that seems to be so prevalent in America, is loosely based on the Bible and more on traditions and cultural influences. We have gone so far from the basics of what Jesus taught in the Bible — love. I am seeing a shift and wave to go back to the original gospel and work of Jesus in the younger generations.

  4. erin sweet says:

    Paul here is showing the importance of the ethical implications of the gospel. Furthering Timothy and encouraging him to build true teachers of the law.

  5. Olivia Vin says:

    Thank you for sharing Kadie. Your post encouraged me! I will be praying for your husband as well. I needed to be reminded myself to trust the Lord instead of feeling the weight of responsibility…. for loved ones who I want to know God deeper. Only God can truly do a work in someone’s heart. We just have to trust the Lord and be faithful to listen. And if we play a part or not, that’s up to Him!

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