Focusing of discipleship in the most difficult times

II Timothy 4:9-18

Nestle neatly within the great commission is the commandment to make disciples and to teach disciples the word of God so they can become like the Son of God

Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.”

  • Teach is the Gr. word matheteou from the Greek word mathetes meaning not only to learn  but to become attached to one teacher and to become his follower in doctrine and conduct
  • Teaching is the Gr. word didasko it has inherent in it the calculation of the increase in understanding of the disciple
Paul, the great apostle who was called out of due season, his life indicates an intense focus of discipleship

Phil. 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his suffering, being made conformable unto his death.”

Phil. 3:12, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Phil. 3:14, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Now, we find him well aged and has served well giving his last will and testament to his son in the ministry, Timothy

One thing age has not changed and serving has not diminished is his focus on discipleship, growing spiritually stronger through studying the word of God to become more like Christ

  1. He warns Timothy in the third chapter of perilous times
  2. He charges Timothy in the fourth chapter verse 1-5
  3. He gives his last will and testament in verses 6-8

He is in prison on death row waiting for Nero’s chopping block but jail and the threat of losing his life did not destroy his hunger, his thirst and desire for more of God’s word

He is hooked on the word and his addiction to the word creates an intense focus on discipleship

Notice verse 13, “The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.”

There are three request Paul make to Timothy which suggest three needs

I.     A focus to satisfy his emotional needs- verse 9-12
II.    A focus to satisfy his physical needs- verse 13
III.   A focus to satisfy his spiritual needs – verse 13
IV.   A focus on God’s faithfulness to his disciples- vs. 16-18

In my humble opinion Christian education is vital to the development of Christian character in the believer

The great commission is a three step process:
  1. We are to make disciples- evangelism
  2. We are to mark the disciple through baptism- fellowship
  3. We are to mature the disciple through education- discipleship

Notice the overriding, dominating factor in Paul’s life is discipleship even while his freedom is taken away and death is imminent

I.     A focus to satisfy his emotional needs- verses 9-12
       a.  Request for Timothy to come- vs 9
       b.  The reason for the urgent request – vs.10-12
       c.  He is alone with no one to talk to
       d.  People need people in life and in ministry
  1. We need people to be who God says we are
  2. We need people to do what God says do
  3. Fellowship with brothers and sisters builds discipleship

II.    A focus to satisfy his physical need- verse 13
       a.  Bring my cloak
  • The cloak is the outer garment
  • Two purposes of the cloak
  1. To wear over your clothes to keep warm
  2. To use as a blanket while sleeping at night
  • Paul is being held a prisoner in a cold dungeon- it is cold during the day and colder during the night
       b.  A strong disciple of Christ needs his emotional and physical needs met in order to thrive spiritually

III.   A focus to satisfy his spiritual need- verse 13
       a.  The body needs clothes and food
       b.  The spirit and soul needs the word of God
       c.  The focus on discipleship necessitated this request 
  1. Bring with thee the Books
  • Books is the Gr. word biblion meaning scrolls
  • The Bible is what he’s requesting while waiting to die (the Pentateuch):
    • Genesis- the book of beginning
    • Exodus- the book of deliverance
    • Leviticus- the book of instructions
    • Numbers- the book of census-taking
    • Deuteronomy- the book of theological treasures
The focus on discipleship is revealed through:
  • Focus on hearing the Word of God
  • Focus on reading the Word of God
  • Focus on studying the Word of God
  • Focus on memorizing the Word of God
  • Focus on meditating on the Word of God
  • Focus on applying the Word of God
2.  Bring with thee especially the parchments
Especially is the Gr. word malista which means in the highest degree, or most of all
Parchments is the Gr. word membrane which is written sheepskins
  • This is his notes from his time of study
  • A spiritual diary if you will
  • These are no doubt letters to New Testament churches- called the prison epistle: Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and II Timothy
His mind is on his work and his work is on his mind because of his focus on discipleship
 IV.  A  focused on God’s faithfulness to his disciples- vs. 16-18
        a.  Focusing on discipleship may result in being alone- vs. 16
        b.  A focused disciple can depend of God’s presence- vs. 17
        c.  A focused disciple can rely on God’s power- vs. 16
        d.  A focused disciple can focus on the work because of God’s focused upon him- vs. 17

Waiting on death he could have thrown in the towel and said I have done enough

But he says brings the books and my notes and the letters
He didn’t focus on who wasn’t there but who was there

Focusing on discipleship in the most difficult times

Focusing on God who is a very present help in the times of trouble

The LORD is good a strong hold in the day of trouble and he know them that trust in him (Nah. 1:7)

Daniel focused on God in a lion’s den

Three Hebrews boy focused on him in a fiery furnace

Abraham focused on God on Mt. Moriah; He’s my ram in the bush

Jesus will make a way out on no way 

God will take care of you!