Have you noticed the word “beloved” in your Bible.   The Church included a way of expressing Paul’s relationship with his young disciple, Timothy, as “beloved”.   Timothy held a special place in Paul’s heart, more like that of “a child with a father” than of a coworker or disciple.   Beloved, Paul calls him.  He was a dear one, precious, treasured, highly-regarded one.   And that is how the Father sees you too, as  “Beloved”.

Look at how Paul addresses Timothy.   He assures Timothy that he hopes to visit soon.   Timothy is on his mind and heart, and Paul can’t wait for the opportunity to share his thoughts and affection.   He wants Timothy to know how to behave in the household of God, where to set his thoughts, and what to spend his energy on.   And so Paul reminds, admonishes, and encourages Timothy in his efforts to spread the gospel and shepherd the Church.

You can almost imagine Paul as a father advising a child who has already left home.   He remember who you are, he tells Timothy.   Don’t minimize what God has done in your life.   Don’t be intimidated, but teach and instruct as you have learned.   Speak the truth.   You live a pure, holy life; and be kind and gentle with others.   Refuse to listen to accusations.   And take care of your health!

Paul’s admonitions go beyond mere instruction.   They speak of the love and affection he had for Timothy.   Paul helped Timothy overcome challenges, inspired confidence in his calling, and imparted much-needed wisdom.   Doesn’t God do exactly that for us?

Your heavenly Father doesn’t tell you, “Try harder” or “Just do it.”   He helps you.   He reminds you.   He speaks affectionately and gently.   He wants to assure you every day that he likes to spend time with you.   You are always in his thoughts, which are tender and full of encouragement for you.   He has given you the Holy Spirit to impart wisdom, to lead and guide and remind you of everything he has said to you.   He cares for your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.   He wants to speak just one word to you… “Beloved.”

word among us