Tony D: 2 Timothy 1-4
When I first read this chapter I did not realize that Timothy was Paul’s Son. After rereading the chapter weeks later with the mindset of a father writing a son a letter I was able to take this chapter to heart and really watch and listen to what was likely some of Paul’s last words to his son Timothy.
As Paul gives thanks to God he reminds Timothy of how much he misses him. Paul encourages Timothy to lean into the spirit of God and explains to him the power that comes with it. 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline”. As Christians we are reminded to not be ashamed of God and Paul is the perfect example.” 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. 9 He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher. 12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” Paul’s love and confidence in Christ revives me and reminds me that God did something I could not do on my own, he saved me and called me one of his own.
The best way for me to relate to this is to think of God as a father. At times I am embarrassed of my earthly father who may say or do something that may let me down, or at times I am embarrassed to talk about God with my family or a stranger because I care to much about what people think of me, but Paul made it clear. There is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about and in Paul’s situation he was in jail. Despite jail he still proclaimed the gospel and claimed Jesus as his Lord. It is safe to say that Paul was not embarrassed or ashamed of the one who saved his soul. This is encouraging and pushes me to be less timid with my faith and to become bolder in my walk. We have nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed of with Christ. He has saved us from death, and last time I checked people are not ashamed of fireman and police officers when they save lives.
Paul explains the importance of serving Christ and no one else. He says that our acts an services should be for an audience of one. We don not have to impress others, our one and only person we should be striving towards perfection for is Christ. Paul then gives a trustworthy saying, “11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.
If we disown him, he will also disown us;13 if we are faithless,
he remains faithful,
for he cannot disown himself.” The saying reminds me that we are in it to win it with Christ.
What Paul addresses next is a big temptation that anyone may find himself or herself falling victim of it. “6 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.” What we say makes a hug difference in the lives of others, especially as leaders of the youth. We need to make sure we are encouraging others daily, and not tearing people down, or gossiping about kids, or other leaders. “Godless chatter” does not sound like a good thing. This transitions into another issue Paul talks about “22 Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” Paul is really backing up the importance of our words working towards Christ and our conversations being God honoring.
Chapter 3 opens with Paul addressing Timothy about staying away from people who radiate evil. 3 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 such people.6 They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7 always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. In my opinion I think we are called to be lights to these types of people. They are not suppose to be in the chair to the left or the right of us, or even 5 chairs down(Bigstuf Stuart Hall). Our actions and words should be lights to people who only know evil. Paul transitions to what it looks like to follow Christ and what to expect.
3:12 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.
At times it seems that good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. This passage reminds me that following Christ may come with some persecution, or tough days, but the hope and life found in Christ is totally worth it. Even if it means loosing everything just to gain Christ is worth it. I love that Paul mentions the holiness of scripture in this passage. That all scripture is God-breathed and useful. Isn’t that the truth.
Paul’s final farewell to his son is an encouraging gift of wisdom, to go and preach the word, to encourage, rebuke and to guide others in the name of Christ. I am sure he waited until the end of his letter to say this for great reason. Some of the last words Paul will read and remember coming from his father are 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: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.
It is a great reminder to all of us to do what is right in the Lords eyes.