Happy Friday and maybe the start of a bit of a wet weekend, sorry about that, these things are not in my control !
Before we come onto today’s passage from the Bible, just a brief further comment on yesterday’s where I suggested this disturbing picture of people’s behaviour which we might see in the world, also sadly happens in the church, and that you sometimes hear individual examples of this.
Well, I was reminded of such an example at a meeting I was at yesterday lunchtime, where someone I know, now a hospital chaplain, but previously a vicar up north, told his story from about 20 years ago, of how he had to endure (along with his family) sustained opposition and verbal attacks and death threats, because he stood up for what he believed in; attacks which started and continued from members of the congregation, but then spread out into the community. This was much of 2 Timothy Ch.3 vs.2-4 put into action and reality, and his is an absolutely shocking story to hear, and yet the apostle Paul warns Timothy (and us) that these things will occur in the last days because of human sinfulness and because the devil is at work.
Anyway onto some solutions today, as we come to 2 Timothy Chapter 3 verses 10 to 17. Do read the passage first before looking at my notes.
3 quick things to say.
– It is good to have positive role models who will show us how to live the Christian life, and display the qualities and graces of faith, patience, love and endurance, as Paul encouraged Timothy to follow his example (v.10). Do we have such people we can look to? Could we be that person to a younger/less mature Christian?
– Those who are faithful to Christ will experience opposition and the suffering that goes with it – it just comes with the territory (vs.11-13). It happened to Paul, it has happened down the ages, it happens today. And of course it happened to our Lord Jesus as well. It is never easy, perhaps in our culture it often comes as a bit of a surprise, but remember we are not alone on this.
– To help us endure we must keep remembering what we have been taught, through the Scriptures (vs.14-15), and then these well-known verses about the Scriptures (vs.16-17), how they are God-breathed, inspired by Him, and how they are useful in different ways, teaching, rebuking, correcting and training, so that we might be equipped to serve the Lord in profitable ways.
Lord, we pray that your word would strengthen and shape us today in whatever may face us. Amen.
And from our church address list, we pray today for,
– Sharon & George