I wait on you today, heavenly Father, to teach me through your Word. Use it to train me and equip me to serve you better.
Read 2 TIMOTHY 3:10-17
A Final Charge to Timothy
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- 2 Timothy 3:17 Or that you, a man of God,
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.
ReflectWhat’s your favorite book from childhood? Your favorite book as an adult? Your favorite book of the Bible? (Mine is Nehemiah) Why?
Paul is clear that the kinds of people we read about on Saturday aren’t going anywhere (v 13). And the effects of those people on the lives of those who follow Jesus are, sadly, inevitable. Persecution is to be expected (v 12). Paul therefore urges Timothy to keep focused on Scripture— on what he has learned from being an infant (vs 14,15), so that verse 17 is the result.
Two things occur to me. One is that it’s all of Scripture—not just the bits we like, but the bits that challenge or make us feel uncomfortable too. Of course, we need to approach the more difficult passages carefully and, if necessary, with help, but avoiding them isn’t helpful.
The second is to think about what ‘every good work’ might actually be (v 17). We might really, really like what he calls us to, or the place he wants us in, or the people he puts us with. But sometimes we might not. Good works for God at times take us right out of our comfort zone, and Scripture, in all its fullness and variety, helps us to be ready.
Think of Christians whom God has called to work in challenging circumstances or in hard places where God’s Word and God’s people are viewed with suspicion or hostility. In what ways can you encourage and pray for them today?
Thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of the Bible – your story that, beginning to end, tells me of your love for me and your plan for my life with you. Use it to remind me that you walk with me both in good and difficult times; help me to use each day to bring you praise.
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