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. Amber Underwood says:

    Lord, I pray that I be the light for others to want to know the Truth about You. I pray that you would educate me and show me only the Truth. I want others to feel and know the Love that You can only provide. Amen

  2. Tania Hernandez says:

    No matter how difficult things may get it is sooooooooo important to stay true to who God is and what his truth. It’s only when we are able to do that that we eliminate running the risk of trying to rule over our own lives. The only direction and opinion that matters is God’s many people may not understand or simply not care but if God is for us who can be against us. Let us lead a life according to His will

    1. Janelle Hayes says:


    2. Janelle Hayes says:

      I understand completely, and agree whole heartedly. God is dealing with me concerning just this, being open to HIM. Not man, or what appears to sound and look like him. We have to be very watchful, even in the body of Christ.

  3. Sarah says:

    This is so impactful. I think it’s so important for us to step up and be Paul and fight for the truth and spreading the good word to those around us. Someone once told me that we are sometimes the only bible someone has and we need to spread the light like fire :)

    1. Tania Hernandez says:

      That’s right through us God is made known to others

  4. Ruby says:

    Very encouraging from two views:
    1. Paul being the encourager
    2. Timothy being encouraged

    At some point in time we either going be the Paul or we’re going to be Timothy!!! Regardless of who you fall under the importancy is knowing who you are in Christ and that the mission at hand is that the world needs to hear the good news and that good news is the Hope in Jesus Christ!!! Are you protecting the heritage? What kind of lineage are you leaving behind?

    1. Tania Hernandez says:

      Thanks Ruby I needed to be reminded about what testimony am I building up and if that is encouraging others as well as strengthening myself.

  5. Peony Noirr says:


  6. Gabi Smith says:

    So helpful!!

  7. Kadie Henderson says:

    “Now the goal of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5) Sometimes, most of the time, (Okay, all of the time…), I ask God to use me to change hearts rather than asking Him to change hearts, like I expect Him to give me the power to perform that task rather than believing that He is powerful enough to do a task that extravagant without my help, not saying that God doesn’t use me (or you or us) to help bring change, just saying I feel the responsibility that that is what He is expecting me to do – change hearts – when that is His job. I found today’s reading so comforting… All I have to do is keep my focus on growing in affection for God and His Word. And have faith! God’s plan operates by faith. (1 Timothy 1:4) I love that Truth!

    Please join me in praying for my husband’s heart. I desperately want Him to truly know and love the Lord!

    1. Tania Hernandez says:

      Hey Kadie,
      I will definitely be praying for your husbands heart. Thank you for sharing

      1. Kadie Henderson says:

        Thank you so much, Tania. <3

      2. Lorin Stubblefield says:

        Kadie—I have a similar prayer for my own husband. Thank your for helping change my perspective—let the Glory be God’s not mine…let the his heart be changed in a way that only God gets the credit.

  8. Victoria F says:

    Thank you Maryanne this was super helpful! God bless you

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