Saturday 21 March 2015

Bible Book:
2 Timothy

“Endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.” (v. 5)

2 Timothy 4:1-18 Saturday 21 March 2015

Psalm: Psalm 127


Today's passage is an appeal to remaintrue to what we believe, even in the face of hardship andpersecution. It comes at the end of a letter seemingly written toan early Church leader, Timothy. We are not sure exactly who wrotethe letter but many of the events and people mentioned, like thosein verses 9-14, seem to relate to the life of the apostle Paul.

The writer is facing a great ordeal andpossibly death because of his faith. He describes himself beingpoured out as a "libation" (v. 6) - a kind of sacrifice made to Godby pouring out a liquid (Genesis 28:18; 2Samuel 23:16-17). Here, though, it means that the writer issacrificing his life, literally pouring out his own blood, for thesake of bringing people the good news of Jesus (ie the gospel). Inthis, he is emulating what Christ did for our sakes when he bledand died on the cross, something we remember at Holy Communion. Thewriter of 2 Timothy seems to be one of the long list of people (or'martyrs') who have died for the sake of the truth of the gospel, alist that sadly continues to grow even in our own day. Many ofthose martyrs have found great comfort in these words thatencourage them to remain firm to what they know is good and true inthis world.

Fortunately, not many of us are calledto be martyrs to our faith, but the passage reminds us of the vitalrole that we have in God's plans. Christ came that we might knowthe truth and that the truth would set us free (John8:32). Many people do not want to hear the truth, though, andprefer "myths" and the kind of teaching that tells them what theywant to hear (verses 3-4). The writer reminds all Christians thatit is their duty to witness to the truth at all times, even whenpeople hate and abuse them. The task of an evangelist - literally a'bringer of good news' - is one that all Christians share.

To Ponder

  • In our own times, what might a "teacher to suit their owndesires" (v. 3) look like?
  • Many people today are suffering greatly because of their faith,and not because of anything they have done. How can we help andsupport them?
  • Looking back on your life, when have been the times when youhave felt the Lord standing by you and giving you the strength tocarry on (verse 17)? Give thanks for God's support.


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