Friend and Foes

We should expect opposition, and make friends. 2 Timothy 1.15-18

The Pastoral Epistles: 2 Timothy 1 (6)

Pray Psalm 71.4-6.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked,
Out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.
For You are my hope, O Lord G
OD;
You are my trust from my youth.
By You I have been upheld from birth;
You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb.
My praise shall be continually of You.

Read and meditate on 2 Timothy 1.15-18.

Reflect.

1. How did Onesiphorus show that he was Paul’s friend?

2. Why would anyone turn away from Paul? 

Meditate.
They turned away from Jesus. They turned away from Paul. They turned away from John and Peter. And they will turn away from you.

As Christians, we must not suppose that everyone will like us, or agree with us, or speak kindly to or about us. Many will not. Some will oppose us actively, or even spread false rumors about us, as some did about Paul. But we must not be dismayed or cowed by such opposition. When we’re opposed or forsaken because of the Gospel, we should rejoice, like the apostles did, at the privilege of sharing in Jesus’ sufferings (cf. Acts 5.40, 41).

It’s good to have Christian friends we can count on, who will stand with us when others turn against us, to refresh our souls by their encouragement. Paul was grateful for Onesiphorus and the friendship he had shown Paul. When he was in Rome, he looked for Paul until he found him, and ministered to him in his chains, just as he had done among the believers in Ephesus (v. 18 – to me is only in a few Greek manuscripts, and likely should be left out). Paul wanted Timothy – who was Onesiphorus’ pastor – to know about this, perhaps because he understood that Timothy might need such a friend as this man.

Who will find in you a friend like that today? Remember, every believer has foes who wish us ill, especially spiritual forces of wickedness in high places. We all need friends in the faith, true friends who understand our struggles, will come alongside us to encourage and assist, and who are seeking nothing for themselves, but only that the grace and mercy of Jesus might abound to us.

We need friends like this, and our Christian friends need such friendship from us.

Reflect.
1. Why do some people turn away from the Gospel and those who believe it? How should we respond when people turn away from us because of Jesus?

2. How do friends refresh one another in the Lord? Why is it important that we do this? 

3. Friends go looking for ways to refresh their friends. Who does that for you? For whom are you such a friend?

Such ought the faithful to be—like Onesiphorus. Neither fear nor threats nor disgrace should deter them from assisting one another, standing by them and succoring them as in war. For they do not so much benefit those who are in danger, as themselves, by the service they render to them, making themselves partakers of the crowns due to them. John Chrysostom (344-407), Homilies on 2 Timothy 3

Lord, I pray for the believers I will see today, that… And I pray for myself, that I may be a true friend to them by…

Pray Psalm 71.1-6.

Spiritual foes will seek to rob you of the joy of your salvation today. Seek the Lord’s strength to help you overcome them. Ask Him to show you a friend you can encourage in the faith today.

Sing Psalm 71.1-6.
Psalm 71.1-6 (Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
In You, O Lord, I refuge claim; O let me never be ashamed. 
In righteousness deliver me; incline Your ear and hear my plea. 
Refrain v. 3
A Rock of habitation be; command Your Word to rescue me.
My Rock and Fortress ever be! 

From wicked hands redeem me, Lord, from all who wrest and break Your Word. 
My hope, my confidence from youth, my praise forever reaches You. 
Refrain

T. M. Moore

Whatever our calling in life, we are sent to bring the joy of Christ to the people around us. Our book, Joy to Your World!, can show you how to fill your Personal Mission Field with more of the Presence, promise, and power of Christ and His Kingdom. Order your copy, as a supplement to our study of 1 Timothy, by 
clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006).All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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