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Friday, December 21, 2012

Critical

When Paul wrote 2 Timothy he was at the end of his life.  He had invested the past several years in three trips around the northern Mediterranean sharing the gospel and training leaders for the communities of believers he planted.  During most of that time he had Timothy with him.  Timothy was his closest mentee.  Paul had invested and trusted more to Timothy than any of the many men and women to whom he ministered.  Paul knew he was facing execution.  He knew his remaining time was short.  2 Timothy is the last recorded words we have from this apostle and they are addressed to his closest co-laborer.  So this is not a casual missive.
What is critical to the expansion of the Church according to Paul?
A couple of days ago I woke up thinking through this book.  There was something that happened the day before that elevated this book in my thinking.  After I got up I read it again and I was impressed that 3:14 – 4:8 is the core of the book.  Look at what Paul is telling Timothy as his parting exhortation:
  • He is to continue in what he has learned
  • The Scripture is critical for his being adequate for his call
  • The Scripture is his message
  • This will be resisted
Think through that.  Tomorrow we will explore the first one in more detail.

2 comments:

  1. I totally agree with Mike's analysis yet suggest another for possible consideration somewhere in the list, from Chapter 2:8-10: suffering hardship.

    What does this mean today, in our context? I'm not suggesting we all endure the kind of hardship Paul did. But does it apply or not (just before this passage, in 3:12)?

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    Replies
    1. @Chuck good point. My initial response is that I was focusing on what Paul said to Timothy over which Timothy had control. But I notice that "suffer hardship" is an imperative. I need to think about that for a while...

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