Thank you, Father, for the gift of Christian brothers and sisters who encourage and strengthen me. Thank you for the koinonia* we share.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 4:9-22
9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him for what he has done. 15 You too should be on your guard against him, because he strongly opposed our message.
16 At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 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. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 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.
19 Greet Priscilla[a] and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.[b]
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you all.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you write a round-robin letter at Christmas? If yes, what kind of details do you include? What might key differences be if you were writing just to your Christian family?
This final passage in 2 Timothy brims with small, endearing, and personal matters. They give us a glimpse of Paul the man, rather than Paul the apostle. There are details of things he’s missing (v 13). There is commendation and condemnation (vs 11,14,15). There are greetings to and from friends (vs 19-21). And there’s a sense of loneliness and longing for his ‘dear son’ (vs 9,11,21).
All of this paints a picture of the joy and the cost of ministry. The middle verses (vs 16-18) describe how he felt abandoned by everyone who could have supported him at his first defense and looked with certain hope to the promise of heaven. Central to that is the Lord, right beside him (v 17), strengthening and enabling him to overcome and complete his ministry.
The sign-off to this second letter to Timothy reveals the heart of Paul: his love and encouragement of those who work alongside him for the sake of the gospel, and his utter confidence in the Lord he trusts.
Find a way that you can affirm and express your appreciation for your pastor today. What about those who lead you in worship and singing each Sunday; is there a way that you can let them know that their ministry blesses you?
I lift up my church leaders to you today, Lord. Strengthen them in their ministries, give them encouragement and blessing.
*Greek word that means fellowship
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