11-2 I, Paul, am on special assignment for Christ, carrying out God’s plan laid out in the Message of Life by Jesus. I write this to you, Timothy, the son I love so much. All the best from our God and Christ be yours!
To Be Bold with God’s Gifts
3-4 Every time I say your name in prayer—which is practically all the time—I thank God for you, the God I worship with my whole life in the tradition of my ancestors. I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion.
5-7 That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith—and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed—keep that ablaze! God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
8-10 So don’t be embarrassed to speak up for our Master or for me, his prisoner. Take your share of suffering for the Message along with the rest of us. We can only keep on going, after all, by the power of God, who first saved us and then called us to this holy work. We had nothing to do with it. It was all his idea, a gift prepared for us in Jesus long before we knew anything about it. But we know it now. Since the appearance of our Savior, nothing could be plainer: death defeated, life vindicated in a steady blaze of light, all through the work of Jesus.
11-12 This is the Message I’ve been set apart to proclaim as preacher, emissary, and teacher. It’s also the cause of all this trouble I’m in. But I have no regrets. I couldn’t be more sure of my ground—the One I’ve trusted in can take care of what he’s trusted me to do right to the end.
13-14 So keep at your work, this faith and love rooted in Christ, exactly as I set it out for you. It’s as sound as the day you first heard it from me. Guard this precious thing placed in your custody by the Holy Spirit who works in us.
15-18 I’m sure you know by now that everyone in the province of Asia deserted me, even Phygelus and Hermogenes. But God bless Onesiphorus and his family! Many’s the time I’ve been refreshed in that house. And he wasn’t embarrassed a bit that I was in jail. The first thing he did when he got to Rome was look me up. May God on the Last Day treat him as well as he treated me. And then there was all the help he provided in Ephesus—but you know that better than I.
1I, Paul, am writing this letter. I am an apostle of Christ Jesus just as God planned. He sent me to tell about the promise of life found in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy, I am sending you this letter. You are my dear son.
May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy and peace.
Paul Gives Thanks
3 I thank God, whom I serve as did our people of long ago. I serve God, knowing that what I have done is right. Night and day I thank God for you. Night and day I always remember you in my prayers. 4 I remember your tears. I long to see you so that I can be filled with joy. 5 I remember your honest and true faith. It was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice. And I am certain that it is now alive in you also.
Paul Encourages Timothy to Be Faithful
6 This is why I remind you to help God’s gift grow, just as a small spark grows into a fire. God put his gift in you when I placed my hands on you. 7 God gave us his Spirit. And the Spirit doesn’t make us weak and fearful. Instead, the Spirit gives us power and love. He helps us control ourselves. 8 So don’t be ashamed of the message about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, his prisoner. Instead, join with me as I suffer for the good news. God’s power will help us do that. 9 God has saved us. He has chosen us to live a holy life. It wasn’t because of anything we have done. It was because of his own purpose and grace. Through Christ Jesus, God gave us this grace even before time began. 10 It has now been made known through the coming of our Savior, Christ Jesus. He has broken the power of death. Because of the good news, he has brought life out into the light. That life never dies. 11 I was appointed to announce the good news. I was appointed to be an apostle and a teacher. 12 That’s why I’m suffering the way I am. But this gives me no reason to be ashamed. That’s because I know who I have believed in. I am sure he is able to take care of what I have given him. I can trust him with it until the day he returns as judge.
13 Follow what you heard from me as the pattern of true teaching. Follow it with faith and love because you belong to Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the truth of the good news that you were trusted with. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
Examples of Faithful and Unfaithful People
15 You know that all the believers in Asia Minor have deserted me. They include Phygelus and Hermogenes.
16 May the Lord show mercy to all who live in the house of Onesiphorus. He often encouraged me. He was not ashamed that I was being held by chains. 17 In fact, it was just the opposite. When he was in Rome, he looked everywhere for me. At last he found me. 18 May Onesiphorus find mercy from the Lord on the day Jesus returns as judge! You know very well how many ways Onesiphorus helped me in Ephesus.