2 Timothy 3:10-11 “Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me.”
Following people today is all the rage! Constantly we are bombarded with requests from friends and businesses to “follow me” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. The more followers a person has the higher their status, business reach, or message platform becomes. But what is the purpose and benefit in following all these entities?
Often we follow friends and loved ones to keep informed about their lives. Large events such as engagements, births, and deaths are now routinely announced on social media. If you are not a follower, you may miss out on important information. Sometimes we follow businesses so we can keep apprised of upcoming sales and receive coupons for future purchases. Numerous blogs share pertinent information about work or hobbies for which we desire to gather information. Church, school, extracurricular organizations – you name it – everybody invites you to follow them so you can stay informed.
But being a “follower” is really nothing new! It has happened for thousands of years, but in different ways. The young pastor, Timothy, followed the Apostle Paul from his youth. In so doing he learned Paul’s teaching, observed his conduct, understood his purpose, adopted his faith, experienced his patience, basked in his love, and marveled at his perseverance. During Paul’s missionary journeys, Timothy witnessed many of the persecutions and sufferings he endured. As a result Timothy’s own faith was strengthened as he watched God rescue Paul each time.
One of Timothy’s greatest benefits of following this godly example was the warnings and preparation he received for his own ministry. His observations and personal teaching from the seasoned missionary revealed that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus would be persecuted. Yet he was encouraged to continue in the things he had learned and become convinced of. Through his diligent study and obedience of the Scriptures he would be adequate and equipped for every good work. Paul’s was a great example to follow. Everything about him pointed to Jesus!
You will not find either of these men on social media today, but there is still a way you can follow their lives and learn from their testimonies. You just need to open the word of God, the Bible, and read what has been preserved for us through Scripture. There are no better examples to follow than the examples of faithfulness found in God’s word.