Read: 1 Tim 1:1-20, 2 Tim 2:1-22
We come to the final week of our focus on praying for lost boys. It certainly has been a rollercoaster ride for many people during the past five weeks as we’ve been battling both the COVID-19 virus as well as the principalities and powers that have our lost boys in bondage. I thank you for sticking it out, for disciplining yourself as a ‘good soldier’ (2 Tim 2:3-4) as we contend for breakthrough, both for the lost boys and for the COVID-19 crisis. Keep persevering in your fast to the finish line!
As you’ve reflected upon and prayed into some of the issues over the past 5 weeks, I hope you haven’t felt discouraged. The Gospel is all about hope and the fact that change is possible! We have many examples of men, both in the Bible and in our world, who are living true to their identity and calling, and it’s our heart’s desire to see this multiplied!
Paul and Timothy are two such examples of these men. Timothy was a young man on a mission when Paul wrote to him. Timothy was charged with the responsibility of teaching and leading the church in Ephesus. Paul, himself a man that underwent radical transformation, was Timothy’s spiritual father; one who was concerned for his well being, desiring him to hold firmly to faith, to sound doctrine and a life of godliness. You can almost feel Paul’s heart towards Timothy as he’s writing these words towards the end of his life. He lived a life of faithful service to Jesus Christ and he wants his young charge to follow his example by doing the same.
What was the charge that Paul gave to Timothy and that he wanted him to live by? ‘The aim of our charge is LOVE that issues from a PURE HEART and a GOOD CONSCIENCE and a SINCERE FAITH’ (1 Tim 1:5 – emphasis added). Doesn’t this stir your heart? There are many other things that Paul encouraged Timothy with, but this message is highlighted and repeated on a couple of occasions.
It all seems so simple, but the Gospel is like that. Simple, yet powerful!
Love is at the centre of the Christian faith – God ‘so loved’ the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:16-17). Jesus gave a ‘new commandment’ to His disciples – to love one another as He had loved them (John 13:34). That kind of love for one another would be a sign that they were indeed His disciples (John 13:35).
The Gospel also enables us to have a pure heart (Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 1:22) – can real love come from anything else? The Lord promised that with a clean heart, His laws would be written on them, therefore we would know what would be right and wrong, enabling a good conscience (Hebrews 10:10-18).
And a sincere faith? This is one that is genuine, unfeigned – or as we would say in Australia ‘fair dinkum’.
Timothy lived this out and was an example to others. He also knew his purpose, which is indicated in 1 Tim 1:18. At one point he was prophesied over, and Paul encouraged him to remember what was said over him so he could fight the good fight of faith. Could you imagine what kind of world we would have if we had more men who lived knowing that they had a new, pure heart, who lived out a sincere faith, who put God first and others second? Imagine a world in which men knew their purpose in life and could wage ‘good warfare’! I believe we would see suicide rates decrease, families held together by a father’s love, pornography a distant memory of a bygone era, and the Kingdom of God spreading into every sphere of society. Our world would look a little more like ‘heaven on earth’ (Matt 6:10).
Will you contend with me that we would see a generation of young men rise up that would walk in love, purity and faith — a generation that would remain steadfast, faithful and true to the Gospel and the call of God on their lives? Come on, brothers and sisters. Let’s bring these lost boys home!
Further Reading: Read all of 1st and 2nd Timothy during the week.
Those who are walking faithfully with the Lord
We see Timothy as a model of a young man walking faithfully with the Lord – one who is waging good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience and loving people from a pure heart (1 Tim 1:5, 18)
- Pray that young men who are walking with the Lord will maintain these things and would be steadfast, faithful and true.
- Pray for the male YFC missionaries and volunteers, and that God will raise up more.
Those who are living in ignorance of the truth
In 1 Tim 1:13, Paul said he had acted ignorantly in unbelief. In verse 14, the grace of the Lord overflowed for him.
- Pray that the grace of the Lord would overflow to those who have never heard the true Gospel.
- If you know any by name, pray for them specifically.
Those who have wandered away from truth, i.e. these are lost sons who once walked in truth with Jesus, and are no longer walking with Him
1 Tim 1:6 – they have swerved (deviated from truth) from love that issues from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Tim 1:5, 19)
- Pray that they will flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. (2 Tim 2:22)
Older men who take ownership and ‘adopt’ a spiritual son. Men who can be a mentor and a model of what a godly man is. If we are going after lost boys and many come in, we need spiritual Fathers to walk with them!
Paul is our example here. He comes alongside Timothy to pray for and encourage him, even though he can’t be present with him. Distance is no barrier. 2 Tim 1:3 — ‘I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day’. 2 Tim 3:10 — ‘You have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings’
- Pray that God will raise up the older men in the churches to come alongside younger men. We need to show older men that they are a vital and valued member of the body of Christ and have a role to play.