What You Need To Succeed

Bible Book: 2 Timothy 
Subject: Success Principles; Christian Living; Remembering

2 Timothy 1:1-12

What does it mean to truly be successful in life? UNICEF recently surveyed 21 of the most developed nations and measured how kids related to other kids, spent time with parents, used alcohol and/or drugs, and perceived their own happiness.

Tight-knit nations—like Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Finland—ranked the highest when it came to young people feeling secure and happy. The U.S. came in next to last.

William Falk of The Week magazine editorialized on these findings:

“I've seen firsthand the emptiness that haunts so many middle-class kids. From an early age, they are taught that life is a pitiless pursuit of individual gratification and success, requiring above-average brains and above-average looks. There is no sense of context, or community, or higher purpose. It's hardly surprising that so many of them are taking antidepressants, ADHD meds, or other pills. Many more hide their sadness in eating disorders, drugs, or meaningless hookups. In our rush to give our children everything, I'm afraid, we have forgotten to help them answer a question that won't be ignored: “What is this all for?”1

What is all this for? Society teaches that success is simply having the latest and greatest no matter the cost to you or to others. That kind of thinking or “worldview” is leading our families and our nation downhill fast.

What can we do about it? Much! We can begin by sharing the truth of the Word of God about what true success is with our families and loved ones. The Word of God found in 2 Timothy 1:1-12 gives you sound principles concerning “What You Need To Succeed,” in life.

I. Remember The Godly People In Your Life

A. Genuine Faith

Remember The Godly People In Your Life

“…when I call to remembrance the genuine faith” (v5).

The word “genuine” literally means, “unhypocritical,” or “sincere.” It’s refreshing to be able to look back into your life and recall the people God has placed in your life to help you trust in Him or move you forward in your walk with Him. (Examples: Parents, Teachers, Sunday School Teachers, Coaches, Ministers, Godly Friends, etc.)  

  • People of genuine faith are going to live…
  • Consistently godly lives
  • Lives that demonstrate obedience to the word of God
  • With a servant attitude over the “serve me” attitude
  • In forgiveness over bitterness
  • Putting Jesus and others first over self   

In a perfect world, everyone would be “genuine.” There would be no hypocrites. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Even the best and most well intentioned believers get off the path form time to time. Make your ultimate role model the Lord Jesus Christ.

As you move forward in life, look back and see…

  • Who has been your greatest encourager in the Lord?
  • Who led you to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
  • Who helped you get back on the right path?
  • Who cared/prayed for you during rebellious times?
  • Who modeled genuine Christ-likeness for you?  
  • Have you thanked God for them lately?
  • How have you thanked that person lately?

Remember those with a genuine faith. Also they will show that…

B. Generational Focus

Question: How did that “genuine faith” become such a vital part

Timothy’s life? How did Timothy become such a young man who had a            passion to know, love, and live faithfully for the Lord Jesus Christ?

Answer: He saw it lived out through His grandmother, Lois, and also his mother, Eunice. In other words, Grandmother Lois and Mother Eunice knew the importance of not only having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for themselves, they also accepted with gratitude and courage the responsibility to pass that scriptural faith along to young Timothy.

Psalm 78:4, “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done.”

2 Timothy 3:15, “…and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

A young lady was in a fatal car accident. The police called her parents and gave the girl one last opportunity to talk with her mom. The conversation went something like this, “Mom, you taught me to drink, dance, and dress, but you did not teach me how to die. Now, I am dying – without God and I am frightened.” 2

Parents and Grandparents, what would happen to your children if you had as much passion to teach them the word of God as you put into your work life or hobbies?

Parents, I want to praise you who take the time to pray for your children and with your children. Don’t give up! Keep planning good seed in their hearts! As your children grow and mature, keep taking them to the Word of God to show how it is relevant and beneficial to their lives.

What you need to succeed begins with remembering who has influenced you positively in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

II. Realize God’s Presence Through Your Life

A. What Has God Delivered You From?

2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear.”

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of cowardice…” (J.B. Phillips N.T. Modern English Version)

One of the greatest weapons the enemy can try to throw at you is the spirit of fear.

Fear of Death – “Your dying hour will be the best hour you have ever known. Your last moment will be your richest. Better than the day of your birth will be the day of your death. It will be the beginning of heaven, the rising of a sun that will never go down forever. Let the fear of death be banished by faith in a living Savior.” (Charles Spurgeon)

  • Fear of Failure – “If I try, I won’t succeed.”
  • Fear of Criticism – “Others will mock me.”
  • Fear of Exposure of Personal Weakness

Mickey Mantle, the late Hall-of-Famer for the New York Yankees, was a teenager when the Yankees sent him back to the minors in 1951. Convinced he couldn't make it as a ballplayer, Mantle called his father, who came to Kansas City and found a tearful Mickey ready to quit the game. 'OK, son, if that's all the guts you have, you might as well come home with me and work in the zinc mines,' the elder Mantle said. His dad's challenge stung Mantle back to reality, and he went on to greatness. (Today In The Word) 3

B. What Has God Deposited Into You?

1. He Gives You Power

2. He Gives You Love

3. He Gives You A Sound Mind

“Power” (Gk. Dunamis) – Divine Power to meet difficulties and fulfill the plan of God for our lives.

“Love” (Gk. Agape) – Unconditional love that God pours into our hearts by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). John McArthur says, “Biblical agapē love is not an emotion but a disposition of the heart to seek the welfare and meet the needs of others. “  
“Sound Mind” (Gk. Sophronismos)  – “self control” or “moderation”

As you move forward in life, you are going to face new challenges and difficulties. Remember what God has delivered you from and what God has deposited into you through His power and grace!

III. Rise To God’s Purpose For Your Life

A. Purpose 1 Salvation

“…who has saved us and called us with a holy calling…” (9a).

God’s purpose for your life begins with receiving salvation by

faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You become a Christian by trusting that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and rose again to become your Lord and Savior. Sin no longer has to dominate your life. Because of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made on the cross of Calvary, your life can be made brand new!

John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

B. Purpose  2 Serving

2 Timothy 1:6, “…stir up the gift of God which is in you…”

Someone once said, “There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart. Pursue those.” You may not “feel” gifted in anything, but if you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, you have at least one spiritual gift to serve God and others with.

1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another.”  

God did not spiritually gift you so you could sit around and do nothing with that gift. It’s got to be “fanned into flame.” Just as a fire can go out quickly if it’s not stoked and cared for, your passion for serving the Lord can be doused if you are careless.

Timothy’s gifts were most likely preaching, teaching, evangelizing, shepherding the people of God. Only through faithfully serving the Lord in these areas would that gift remain alive and burning in his heart!

As you move forward, ask God to show you how He wants and where He wants you to serve Him. (College Bound students: BSU, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Life, Attending a church that challenges you in your walk as a disciple of Christ, etc.) Make up your mind that you are going to live life to the full through pouring out your life for others.

C. Purpose 3 Suffering

“…share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.” 2 Timothy 1:8b

“For this reason I also suffer these things…” 2 Timothy 1:12

No where will you find in the word of God where it says living for the Lord Jesus Christ is going to be easy.

Oswald Chambers said, “To choose to suffer means that there is something wrong; to choose God’s will even if it means suffering is a very different thing. No healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he chooses God’s will, as Paul did, whether it means suffering or not.” 4

The world we live in is growing increasingly hostile to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t expect people to applaud you because you choose to go with God! Your goal is not the applause of the world, rather the applause of your Father in Heaven.

D. Purpose 4 Standing

“…nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that HE is able to keep what I have committed to Him until the day.” 2 Timothy 1:12                      

Paul had totally surrendered His life into the loving and strong sustaining hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul knew he could not keep his life or save his life, so he committed His life to the Only One able to do both, the Lord Jesus Christ!

John 10:28, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”


I want to encourage our graduating seniors today to remember the godly people in their lives, God’s presence in their lives, and God’s purpose for their lives. Live your life in the spirit of this young preacher from Zimbabwe who said…

“I’m part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit’s power. The die has been cast.  I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I’m a disciple of HIS! I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still…I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus.” 5

Following Christ as Lord and Savior, you’ve got what you need to succeed! Commit yourself to Him today!


1. William Falk, "The Week," The Week (3-2-07), p. 5; submitted by Ted DeHass, Bedford, Iowa

2. Sermon Pastor Life, Guido, M. “In Praise of Mothers.”

3. Today In The Word (preceptaustin.org)

4/5. Kent Hughes (1 & 2 Timothy and Titus), pg. 179 & 182