“ARE you ready?” Have you ever been asked that?— Well, the person who asked wanted to know if you were prepared. For example, the person may have meant: ‘Do you have your study books? Have you read your lessons?’ As we will see, Timothy was ready.
Timothy was also willing. Do you know what that means?— When Timothy was invited to serve God, he had the attitude of another one of God’s servants, who said: “Here I am! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) Because he was ready and willing to serve, Timothy enjoyed an exciting life. Would you like to hear about it?—
Timothy was born hundreds of miles away from Jerusalem, in Lystra. His grandmother Lois and his mother, Eunice, were good students of the Scriptures. Even when Timothy was a baby, they began teaching him about God’s Word.
When Timothy was probably still a teenager, the apostle Paul, along with Barnabas, visited Lystra on his first long preaching trip. It is likely at this time that Timothy’s mother and grandmother became Christians. Would you like to hear about the trouble Paul and Barnabas faced?— Well, people who did not like Christians threw stones at Paul, knocked him down, and dragged him outside the city. They thought he was dead.
Those who believed what Paul was teaching gathered around him, and he got up. The next day, Paul and Barnabas left, but they returned to Lystra a little later. When they did, Paul gave a talk and told the disciples: “We must enter into the kingdom of God through many tribulations.” (Acts 14:8-22) Do you know what Paul meant?— He meant that others would make trouble for those who serve God. Paul later wrote to Timothy: ‘All those who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted.’
After Paul and Barnabas left Lystra, they returned home. Some months later, Paul picked Silas to travel with him, and together they went back to encourage the new disciples in the places Paul had visited. When they arrived at Lystra, how happy Timothy must have been to see Paul again! Timothy was even happier when he was invited to travel with Paul and Silas. Timothy accepted the invitation. He was ready and willing to go.
The three traveled together, walking many miles, and then they boarded a boat. After going ashore, they walked to Thessalonica in Greece. Here many became Christians. But others were angry and formed a mob. The lives of Paul, Silas, and Timothy were in danger, so they left for Beroea.
Paul was worried about the new believers in Thessalonica, so he sent Timothy back there. Do you know why?— Paul later explained to the Christians in Thessalonica: ‘To make you firm and to comfort you that no one might be discouraged.’ Do you know why Paul sent young Timothy on such a dangerous assignment?— Well, Timothy was not as well-known to the opposers, and he was willing to go. That took a lot of courage! How did the visit turn out? When Timothy returned to Paul, he told Paul how faithful the Thessalonians were. So Paul wrote to them: “We have been comforted over you.”
Timothy served with Paul for the next ten years. Then Paul was imprisoned in Rome, and Timothy, who himself had recently been released from prison, went to be with him. While in prison, Paul wrote a letter to the Philippians, perhaps using Timothy as a secretary. Paul said: ‘I am hoping to send Timothy to you, for I have no one else who is so faithful and will serve you better.’
How happy those words must have made Timothy! Paul came to love Timothy very much because he was ready and willing to serve. We hope that you will be too.