16 May 2020, 10:20 // Matt Chisem

Hey lads,

Hope you are well during lockdown. Today I would like to speak about the powerful impact that appreciation can have, both on the individual and the collective.

“I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy”- 2 Timothy 1:3-8

There are 3 elements of Pauls appreciation for Timothy that we see from this passage:

Appreciation dictates the course of Paul’s prayers. Paul is hugely appreciative of Timothy and their partnership in the Gospel, and this stance of gratitude leads him to pray for Timothy “day and night” (v3). We are called to pray without ceasing, for all, but there is nothing wrong with lifting prayers of appreciation for those that we love, particularly in this time of uncertainty.

Appreciation and encouragement go hand in hand. Paul reminds Timothy that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline”. (v7) Paul is inspired to speak powerful, encouraging truth over Timothy, as a means of spurring him onto fresh things for the Gospel. Our appreciation of others should have an inherent encouraging that accompanies it. I have seen this most recently during the NHS clap, on Thursdays evenings at 8pm. I know first hand, with my wife being a paediatric nurse in the NHS, the powerful encouragement that can come from a simple appreciative, collective action.

Appreciation should lead to action Having told Timothy of his constant prayers, and encouraging him with truth, Paul calls Timothy to action. “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.” (v8) Appreciation should not just be words, platitudes, or comforting clichés. A genuine appreciation of others should have an intrinsic desire to call them higher, to take part in the purposes of God, and to yes, sometimes, undertake difficult things for the Gospel.

Well, hopefully that has encouraged you! We are starting to move our Bible emails onto Instagram, so please do go and follow us @strustlife.