“For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.”
I Corinthians 4:17
Throughout his epistles, Paul makes mention of his relationship to Timothy. Paul was a spiritual father to Timothy, and Timothy was a devoted and loyal son. Timothy was a lesson in how a younger disciple can and should learn from an older and more mature man of God. In our text, Paul reminds us that Timothy was “faithful in the Lord.”
How many times have we heard someone speak of the importance of faithfulness? The reasons are obvious. Faithfulness is required in God’s servants. Without it, no one is qualified to serve. No amount of talent can substitute for a lack of faithfulness. It is so important that others be able to depend on us. Among other things, Yellowstone National Park is known for its many geysers. There is one geyser in particular that sprays mist a couple of hundred feet into the air when it erupts, farther than any other known geyser in the world. The only problem is that you can never know when it might have a major eruption. It is not at all predictable. Only one geyser bears the name “Old Faithful.” It erupts faithfully, and you can always count on it within a few minutes of its scheduled time.
Paul also said of Timothy, “who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ.” In so many words, Paul was saying, “He will remind you of me.” What a compliment for Timothy and what a tribute to Paul. Paul was reproducing himself in his spiritual offspring, and Timothy was an exceptional learner. It is somewhat rare to find someone who is willing to adapt to the ways of his teacher. Many potential young servants are offended that they might have to surrender some of their individuality, and thus are not interested in imitating the mature and proven ways of a godly mentor. Timothy was not hung up on his individuality, but he was committed to learning all he possibly could from the seasoned servant of God.
One thing that made Paul’s ways reproducible is found in our Scripture. Paul was a picture of consistency. He said to this effect, “as I teach every where in every church.” His teaching and his manner of life were the same wherever he was – a lesson for us all.