Archive for the ‘2 Timothy’ Category

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:19-22 Great Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.  Erastus stayed in Corinth and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus.  Do your best to get here before winter.  Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers.  The Lord be with your spirit, Grace be with you. 

Paul ended the final chapter in his book and in his life by greeting those who were closest to him.  Although Paul had spent most of his life traveling, he had developed close and lasting friendships.  Too often, we rush though our days, barely touching anyone’s life.  Do you have a Paul – am mentor or teacher who provides leadership, accountability, and encouragement?   Do you have a Priscilla or Aquila-a coworker or peer who prays with you in times of stress, loves you, and supports you?  Do you have a Timothy-a younger leader whom you are helping, encouraging, and discipling?

Lets Bring it Home: Like Paul, we should take time to weave our lives into others through close personal relationships.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.  To him be glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

Here Paul was affirming his belief in eternal life after death.  Paul knew the end was near, and he was ready for it.  Paul was confident in God’s power even as he faced death

Lets Bring it Home: Anyone facing a life and death struggle can be comforted knowing that God will bring each believer safely through death to his heavenly kingdom.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:17 But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. 

With his mentor in prison and his church in turmoil, Timothy was probably not feeling very brave.  Paul may have been subtly telling Timothy that the Lord had called Timothy to preach, and would give him the courage to continue to do so.

Lets Bring it Home: God always gives us the strength to do what he has commanded.  This strength may not be evident, however, until we step out in faith and actually begin doing the task.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:9-10 Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.  Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 

Paul was virtually alone and probably lonely.  No one had come to his trial to speak in his defense (4:16), and Demas had left the faith (4:10).  Crescens and Titus had left, but not for the same reasons as Demas.  Paul did not criticize or condemn them.  Demas had been one of Paul’s coworkers (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24), but had deserted Paul because he “loved this world.” In other words, Demas loved worldly values and worldly pleasures.

There are two ways to love the world.   God loves the world as he created it and as it could be if it were rescued from evil.  Others like Demas, love the world as it is, sin and all.

Lets Bring it Home: Do you love the world as it could be if justice were done, the hungry were fed, and people loved one another?  Or do you love what the world has to offer-wealth, power, and pleasure – even if gaining it means hurting people and neglecting the work God has given you to do.

To keep cool when you are jarred and jolted by people or circumstances, don’t react quickly.  In any work of ministry that you undertake, keeping a clear mind in every situation makes you morally alert to temptation, resistant to pressure, and vigilant when facing heavy responsibility.

Please remember that these emails are going to over 100 people.  I used BCC to keep your email address private.  I just want to share my own personal walk with you, and yes, please hold me accountable for my actions.   I love you all with the love of Jesus and there is nothing that you can do about it. 

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:3-5 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching’s ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 

Many speakers, teachers, and writers talk about the pursuit of knowledge.  But often they don’t want knowledge; they want power.  Such people won’t listen to “sound doctrine” Instead, they “turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

You can see this everywhere – from liberal churches to university campuses.  People claiming to have a bit more enlightenment than what the dusty Bible has to say; people claiming to improve on God’s words.  Such people have several things in common:

(1)  They do not tolerate the truth.  They have no interest or respect for absolute truth or any standard for judgment.

(2)  They reject truth for sensationalism.  They want truth that fits their situation and makes sense for them.  What they feel, what works for them, what seems compelling-that is their truth and they claim an absolute right to it.  No one should even attempt to tell them differently.

(3)  They gather viewpoints to suit their selfish desires.  Although they profess objectivity, their only defense for their viewpoints is that those viewpoint suit their  desires.

Such teachers have a following because they are telling people “what their itching ears want to hear.” These people are following myths.

Lets Bring it Home: Be careful.  False teaching can be found in many places-even inside the doors of some churches.  Like Timothy, you must “keep your head in all situations” and seek God’s Word for the truth.

To keep cool when you are jarred and jolted by people or circumstances, don’t react quickly.  In any work of ministry that you undertake, keeping a clear mind in every situation makes you morally alert to temptation, resistant to pressure, and vigilant when facing heavy responsibility.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 4:1-2 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge.  Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.    

It was important for Timothy to preach the gospel so that the Christian faith could spread throughout the world.  We believe in Christ today because people like Timothy were faithful to their mission.  It is still vitally important for believers to spread the gospel.  Half of the total number of people who have ever lived are alive today, and most of them do not know Christ.  He is coming soon, and he wants to find his faithful believers ready for him.  It may be inconvenient to take a stand for Christ or to tell others about his love, but preaching the Word of God is the most important responsibility the church and its members have been given. 

Lets Bring it Home: Be prepared for, courageous in, and sensitive to God-given opportunities to tell the Good News.  Be prepared in season and out of season means to always be ready to serve God in any situation, whether or not it is convenient.  Be sensitive to the opportunities God gives you. 

Paul told Timothy to “correct, rebuke, and encourage” It is difficult to accept correction, to be told we have to change.  But no matter how much the truth hurts, we must be willing to listen to it so we can more fully obey God.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God.  It is not a human book.  Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed his person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down his message for his people (2 Peter 1:20,21).  This process is known as inspiration.  The writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts.  Although they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrote what God wanted them to write.  Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing.  Its words are entirely authoritative for our faith and lives. 

The whole Bible is God’s inspired Word.  Because it is inspired and trustworthy, we should read it and apply it to our lives.  The Bible is our standard for testing everything else that claims to be true.  It is our safeguard against false teaching and our source of guidance for how we should live.  It is our only source of knowledge about how we can be saved.  God wants to show you what is true and equip you to live for him. 

In our seal for the truth of Scripture, we must never forget its purpose-to equip us to do good.  We should not study God’s Word simply to increase our knowledge or to prepare us to win arguments.  We should study the Bible so that we will know how to do Christ’s work in the world.  Our knowledge of God’s Word is not useful unless it strengthens our faith and leads us to do good. 

Lets Bring it Home: How much time do you spend in God’s Word? Read it regularly to discover God’s truth and to become confident in your life and faith.  Develop a plan for reading the whole Bible, not just the familiar passages.  The Bible is “God-breathed.” Read it, and use it’s teaching to guide your conduct.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 3:14-15 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.      

Besieged by false teachers and the inevitable pressures of a growing ministry, Timothy could easily have abandoned his faith or modified his doctrine.  Once again Paul counseled Timothy to look to his past, and to hold to the basic teachings about Jesus that are eternally true.

Timothy was one of the first second-generation Christians: he became a Christian not because an evangelist preached a powerful sermon, but because his mother and grandmother had taught him the Scriptures when he was a small child (1-5).  A parent’s work is vitally important.  At home and in Church, we should realize that teaching small children is both an opportunity and a responsibility.  Jesus wanted little children to come to him (Mathew 19:13-15).  Like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, do you part in leading children to Christ.

For Timothy, the “holy Scriptures” was the Old Testament.  The Old Testament is important because it points to Jesus Christ.  At the same time, faith in Christ makes the whole Bible intelligible.

Lets Bring it Home: Like Timothy, we are surrounded by false teachings.  But we must not allow our society to distort or crowed out God’s eternal truth.  Spend time every day reflecting on the foundation of your Christian faith found in God’s Word, the great truths that build up your life.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 3:08-09 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth-men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concern, are rejected.  But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. 

According to tradition, Jannes and Jambres were two of the magicians who had counterfeited Moses’ miracles before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:11,12).  Paul explained that just as Moses had exposed and defeated them (Exodus 8:18,19).  God would overthrow the false teachers who were plaguing the Ephesian church.

We can hide our sin for a while, but eventually the truth will be revealed.  Sooner, or later, distraction, opposition, anger, or fatigue will wear us down, and our true hearts will be exposed.  The trials of life will conspire against our efforts to maintain a religious front. We can’t pick when and where we will be tested by adversity.  Build your character carefully because it will come out under stress.

Lets Bring it Home: Live each day as if everyone will one day know your actions.  It is useless, in the middle of a test, to acknowledge that you should have prepared.  Now is the time to change anything you wouldn’t want revealed later.

Under Gods Command

2nd Timothy 3:01-07

(1) But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 

(2) People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,

(3) without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,

(4) treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God –

(5) having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.

(6) They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,

 Because of the cultural background, women in the Ephesian church had received no formal religious training.  They enjoyed their new freedom to study Christian truths, but their eagerness to learn made them a target for false teachers.  Paul warned Timothy to watch out for men who would take advantage of these women.

(7) always learning but never able  to acknowledge the truth. 

This verse is not opposing study and learning; it is warning about ineffective learning.  It is possible to be a perpetual student and never graduate to putting theory into practice. But honest seekers and true students look for answers.  Remember this as you study God’s word.

Lets Bring it Home: New believers need to grow in their knowledge of the Word, because ignorance can make them vulnerable to deception. Seek to find God’s truth and will for you life.  Then do as he says.