Thursday, December 30, 2010

Project 4:4--Day Three Hundred Fifty-Three

Day Three Hundred Fifty-Three, II Timothy

In this second letter to Timothy, Paul's dear son in the faith, it appears that Paul has once again been arrested. This letter of Paul's is perhaps the last one that he wrote. From the wording of the letter, one can tell that Paul knows his time is drawing near. This letter, and these instructions seem to read with a sense of urgency, and they can easily be viewed as Paul's final words, his dying words to his son in the faith.

Paul begins by expressing both his thankfulness and concern for Timothy. "I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."

Paul encourages Timothy in his teaching, as he urges Timothy not to be afraid to join him in suffering for the sake of the gospel. Paul writes that although he is suffering, "I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day."

I think it's important to note that again, Paul warns against false doctrine, and he warns of the importance of keeping the faith. Those were obviously strong concerns of his for his young sons in the faith as they were ministering, since he mentioned it in each of these three letters. In talking about remaining faithful, Paul reminds Timothy that, "If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself."

Paul reminds Timothy of the importance of the Scriptures as he tells him to "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. 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."

He charges Timothy to "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction."

He reminds Timothy of the reward that will be waiting for him if he continues faithfully--this reward which Paul himself is near to receiving. "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing."

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