Studies in 2 Timothy

All for One – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

All for One – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

At the heart of the gospel is the great affirmation that “we are members of the body of Christ and individually members one of another”. That is, as the Three Musketeers would say, it is “All for one and one for all”. This is how we are to live and this is how we are to serve. The fact that we all let each other down in this, sometimes severely, does not change this fact at all. That is why the foundational ideals of the church are love, loyalty, and mutual service but the practical virtues that express this are patience, forbearance, and forgiveness.

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Running The Race – Studies in 2 Timothy

Running The Race – Studies in 2 Timothy

Just this past weekend the Catholic Church canonized Mother Teresa of Calcutta…Her ministry was the ministry of little things…many little acts of love performed especially for the poorest of the poor for love of them and Jesus. No one doubts she ran her race with perseverance right through the finish line….All of us are called to this little way of love and service no matter what else we may be asked to do. A hundred times a day we have the opportunity to give a smile, to lend a hand, to praise, to thank, to visit, to help. Often we have the opportunity to say a good word about Jesus. And we have these opportunities to the very end.

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Like a Rock in a Torrent – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Like a Rock in a Torrent – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

“Certainly the pressures upon us to conform are colossal, not only from the direct challenge to traditional beliefs and morals, but also – and more – from the insidious and pervasive atmosphere of secularism which even seeps into the church. Many give in, often without realizing what they are doing. But again and again the word of God addresses us, calling us not to be moved. We are not to be like a ‘reed shaken by the wind’, feebly bowing down before it from whatever direction it may blow. Rather, like a rock in a mountain torrent, we are to stand firm.” John Stott, II Timothy, p. 92)

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Confidence in Distressing Times – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Confidence in Distressing Times – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

We need to know…that until Christ’s return there will be distressing times when the forces of evil rage most furiously or seduce most deceptively and we are going to be caught right in the middle of them…We may not wish them, but we are ready for them.

“’I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” (J.R.R. Tolkein, The Fellowship of the Ring)

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Servants of the Truth – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Servants of the Truth – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

It is on this point that Paul is most clear in his instructions to Timothy and to us. He and we are to “do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.” It is the consistent, clear, straightforward presentation of the faith built on the solid foundation of Christ and the teaching of that faith by his apostles which is our strongest weapon and surest defense…In doing so we may not please the world but we will certainly serve the world, for we will be sharing the truth and, as our Lord has said, it is the Truth that shall set us free.

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A Single Purpose and a Sure Hope – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

A Single Purpose and a Sure Hope – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

“We do not depend on the inspiration of a memory, however great. We enjoy the power of a presence. When a Christian is summoned to a great task…he must go into it in the certainty that he does not go to it alone, but there is with him forever the presence and the power of the risen Lord. When fears threaten, when doubts assail, when inadequacy depresses, remember the presence of the risen Lord.” (William Barclay)

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Guarding the Gospel – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Guarding the Gospel – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Yes, we are to share the gospel, to witness and tell the story. But before we can do that we must guard the story and make sure it is told in our day just as Jesus, himself, told it and lived it…Perhaps this seems so self- evidently true that you wonder what the fuss is about. However, this has been the perennial problem of the church: in every age there have been those who would alter the message in one way or another to make it more attractive or palatable to their generation. So the Gnostics in the second century presented a Christ who was not human at all and Arius in the fourth century offered a Jesus who was not quite God. The church then, and in every age thereafter, has had to fight hard to preserve and protect its great treasure.

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Not Ashamed – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Not Ashamed – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

“As followers of Jesus we are called to live before one audience, the audience of One…There is only one voice that matters for us – the voice of God, and not the voice of the people or the voice of the times. And certainly not the warm embrace of popularity, the soft whisper of our own desires for comfort, the siren lure of being ‘on the right side of history’, or the mean faces of the bullying activists and the social media mob. Equally, there is only one judgment that matters and one word of approval that counts in the end: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”

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A Charge to Keep – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

A Charge to Keep – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

Filled with pathos, urgency, and beauty, every verse of II Timothy is a reminder to Timothy that “the precious gospel was now committed to him, and that it was now his turn to assume responsibility for it, to preach and teach it, to defend it against attack and falsification, and to ensure its accurate transmission to the generations yet to come.” (Stott, 21) And now it is just as urgent a reminder to us, for now the precious gospel is committed to us.

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