PREPARING FOR CHRIST
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.
‘Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds … Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home.’1
Rather than being led astray by these false teachers, Timothy must continue in the teachings of which he had become convinced. Jewish children were customarily taught the Law at an early age and they had to commit parts of it to memory. The Holy Scriptures (our Old Testament) were able to prepare him – they disciplined him in obedience to God and pointed forward to the coming Messiah, through whom salvation by faith would become available. Timothy was a first-generation Christian.
A parent’s work is vital. At home and at church we must realize that teaching small children is an opportunity and a responsibility. Paul says, ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.’2 Moses’ words in Deuteronomy (quoted above) tell us to teach children at all times – not just in family prayers or Sunday School, but throughout the day. Small children can be taught to say ‘Thank you, Jesus’ before their meals; to pray for their classmates, friends and teachers who are sick, and so on. Children are quick to learn if we teach them.
The whole Bible is God’s inspired Word: ‘All Scripture is God-breathed’ (v 16). The word used here is theopneustos, a combination of two other Greek words, theos (God) and pneo (breathe). This is one of the greatest texts in the New Testament. It means ‘breathed out,’ in contrast with the breathing in of the breath of life when Adam was created.3 Because it is inspired and trustworthy, it is our standard for testing everything and our source of guidance for how to live. We need to read it regularly.
‘The best book to read is the Bible. If you read it every day it will help you on your way, the best book to read is the Bible.’4
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.
1 Deut 11:18,19 2 Eph 6:4 3 Gen 2:7 4 Anon, recorded by Colin Buchanan, ‘The Best Book to Read’
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