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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Paul’s Charge

Over the years I have spent a significant amount of time in 2 Timothy 2.  2 Timothy 2:2 is the first passage I studied using the verse analysis study in 1973.  It is one of the passages I use with men in the four week one on one meetings.

This morning I heard a message in a series on the Pastoral Epistles, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus.  The message focused on the second paragraph of 2 Timothy 2.  Since I studied the Pastoral Epistles as a unit in the past year I have my study on my iPad.  So, I have that open and am following along with the speaker as he is working through the passage.  While he was speaking I noticed a connection that I had missed or did not think through well.

2 Timothy 2 breaks into three paragraphs, 1 – 7, 8 – 13, and 14 – 26.  I noticed a key word in each paragraph:

  • Consider – 2:7
  • Remember – 2:8
  • Remind – 2:14
This was Paul’s charge to his spiritual son.  He told him to consider what he had told Timothy.  The Greek word is νοεω, noeo.  It shows up 14 times in the New Testament and is translated understand, see, perceive, understood, think, and consider.  Paul is telling Timothy to think about what he has told him, to ponder it, to process it, it is in that effort that the Lord will give Timothy understanding.

Often we forget or tend to downplay the truth that the Lord gave us a mind.  He gave us the ability to think, reason, evaluate, ponder.  I have heard and experienced those who have reacted to a passage without really considering what it says.  That leads, as Prof said, to abomination.  One cannot understand what Paul said if one does not consider, observe, what was said.

This may seem overly obvious.  But I assure you in working with people on 5 continents observation gets short shrift on each.  Paul is telling us that we need to pay attention to what he wrote.  That is good advice not only for his letters but for the rest of the Scripture as well.

I was going to share my thoughts on the other two but I will save that for tomorrow and possibly the next day.

2 comments:

  1. A valuable reminder to what I often think I "know," yet fail to put into incisive application.

    The second half of 2 Tim. 2:7 is also vital. There is no excuse for sloppy thinking or ignorantly (or just lazily) grasping some "truth" out of context that seems to tickle my desires in some way. That seems to me to be the opposite of "consider." Paul had an important context in mind when he said that - all he had already written, and probably what he said or preached when Timothy was present, in a crowd or personally.

    But the other part you have touched on not long ago in the discussion on trusting God, stated in Prov. 3:5, "lean not on your own understanding" comes into play here in the rest of Paul's statement, "and the Lord will give you understanding in everything."

    This dynamic dialog between the Spirit of God and my mind/soul is surely an immense mystery. After over five decades of deliberately (sometimes consciously and other times without any effort at all) I'm still trying to learn how it works, how I promote it or provide the environment for it to happen.

    All I know for sure that the Holy Spirit does this at least in the times I recognize it when I'm in the process you describe of struggling (usually) to understand a truth and "the light comes on."

    I'm growing in recognizing my desperate dependence on the Spirit to give me true understanding of His word.

    I'm looking forward to more....

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  2. Wonderful truth and teaching in this post, and a great response by Chuck. Thank you, men, and God bless!

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